Campaign to make Euro 2012 chance to remember the Holocaust in Poland and the Ukraine

By Josh Jackman, June 11, 2012

A group of Israeli students have set up a social media campaign, using the current European Championships in Poland and Ukraine as a basis for commemorating the Holocaust in the two host countries.

"Euro 1945", which can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and smartphone applications including those on the iPhone, has been launched by Omri Ariav, vice chairman of the s tudent u nion at the Interdisciplinary Cent re, Herzliya. The educational tool details the Jewish history of the host cities, which are Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw, Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk.

The group's website features a large map marking the locations of the tournament stadiums with tombstones, which display the cities' Jewish populations before the Holocaust, where a large proportion of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust perished.

Mr Ariav said that he was inspired " by the IDC delegation to Poland few months ago. I figured out that [Euro 2012] can promote Holocaust remembrance." He aims to bring his campaign to the attention of at least a "few thousand" people.

Mr Ariav emphasised that the project's focus on this tragic time was not intended to stir up feelings of guilt or anger, and that it should instead serve as a reminder of actions which must not be repeated.

He said: "I do not ask that you feel guilty during your sport … I do not ask for justice or even that Euro 2012 [takes place] on different soil. I ask you to remember that once on [Polish] land stood free men whose ambitions, dreams, desires and spirits were brutally erased. Do not leave history buried in books, but let it guide you to be better people in the future."

Last updated: 1:26pm, June 11 2012