Wake The Town
Stuck in Motion
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

Teaching Gen Z about Holocaust Horrors Is a ‘Call of Duty’ for Survivors


‘Fighting to Remember’ from McCann Tel Aviv and Zikaraon Basalon brings survivors and gamers together in COD WWII maps to make Holocaust remembrance accessible for gen z

Teaching Gen Z about Holocaust Horrors Is a ‘Call of Duty’ for Survivors

In recent years, anti-Semitism has surged around the world - hate crimes have increased while high-profile figures in entertainment, sport and politics continue to bring anti-Jewish rhetoric into mainstream media. Meanwhile, our grasp of the horrors of the Holocaust threatens to become increasingly tenuous as more of the 150,600 Holocaust survivors die each year. Even in Israel, awareness of the Holocaust has dwindled as the younger generation becomes more distanced from the survivors.

According to Hebrew daily newspaper Maariv, 76% of Israeli teens have never met a Holocaust survivor. A recent survey also found that 48% of Jews age 18-29 were unaware of one of the most horrific mass murder events of the Holocaust, the massacre at Babi Yar.

So Zikaraon Basalon, an organisation dedicated to keeping survivor stories alive, decided to bring these stories to gen z on their own turf - through gaming

On April 17th, Israel’s National Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel’s top gamers streamed themselves on YouTube playing Call of Duty World War II. But they were joined by special guests - Holocaust survivors who experienced the reality of what happened in those game maps.

As the players walk through the game, survivors recounted their real-life experiences to bring into sharp relief the horrors they experienced in those locations. Avid gamers and the younger generation who may have become desensitized and distanced from the Holocaust were reminded that for Jews, these moments were not a game, but tragedies that have shaped their lives and continue to impact generations that have followed.

The campaign, titled 'Fighting to Remember,' was created with McCann Tel Aviv, the agency behind the Cannes Lions Grand Prix-winning 'Thisables' campaign for Ikea. It aims to keep survivors' stories alive for youth on a platform they are most comfortable with. According to the Bezek 2020 internet report, 69% of Israel youth are gamers, on average playing 21 hours of videogames a week.

The participants in the campaign include Danny Ly Ziser, host of IGN Israel; gaming influencer Inde Game, known as the 'Israeli MR Beast' and pop star Static, also a popular gamer who has collaborated on songs with the Black-Eyed Peas and Pitbull. The survivors include Moshe Kessler, one of the protagonists form the book 'The Boy from Block 66,' Avraham Roet, a peer of Anne Frank; Shimon Greenhouse, who was imprisoned with his family in the Krasna Ghetto; Shimon Eyal, who had witnessed the beginning of the persecution of Jews in his native Paris and Rina Czaczkes who hid in a crowded tunnel underground for two years with four other people.

'Fighting to Remember' will run across multiple platforms. The gamers will stream their COD walk-throughs with the survivors on YouTube, and the campaign will be teased across social media including on TikTok and Discord. The videos will also be shared in classrooms as part of students’ Holocaust education. 

“Zikaron Basalon is all about making the holocaust stories accessible for everyone, that’s why we do it every year in living rooms. In order to make it accessible for the young generation it was important for us to meet them on their own platform - gaming. the survivor's story on real maps from the game they all know,” noted Moran Zipper, co-CEO of Zikaron Basalon

“We were surprised to see so much research about the lack of connection between teens and the Holocaust – which makes projects like these so important. The connection between the gamers and the survivors was so powerful. The gamers brought into the room the games they know so well, and the survivors completed the picture with their emotional stories and gamers couldn’t believe the hardships the survivors had overcome, at younger ages they are right now,” Sigal Abudy, chief creative officer, McCann Tel Aviv added. “Many tears were shed throughout the process, and we all felt a sense of calling and responsibility towards this important task – commemorating these Holocaust stories in a way that would touch and interest teens today. There is no doubt that on this Holocaust Memorial Day, teens will not be able to stay indifferent towards the Holocaust and its inspiring survival stories.”


Agency / Creative
view more - Creative
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.

Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Awareness

McCann Worldgroup Europe & London, Tue, 18 Apr 2023 10:07:35 GMT