April 30, 2019 11:56 pm
Updated: May 5, 2019 8:36 pm

Her name is Eva Heyman — she lived during the Holocaust, and this is her Instagram story

WATCH: Social media campaign asks 'what if a girl in the Holocaust had Instagram'?


Her name is Eva Heyman.

She’s a happy, 13-year-old girl who lives with her grandparents in Hungary. She dreams of being a famous reporter.

An Instagram story shows her dancing with friends, grabbing ice cream with a crush and laughing with her family.

Eva’s life seems light and carefree until a man walks into frame and says, “dirty Jew.”

From there, tanks transporting Nazi soldiers come into frame, their steely gazes fixated on the camera.

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This is eva.stories, an Instagram account set to launch on Wednesday a series of segments that show what the Holocaust might have looked like for a teen girl using Instagram.

The stories are being launched as part of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, a day that is marked in Israel every year to commemorate the six million Jews killed as part of Adolf Hitler’s program to wipe them out as a people in Europe.

The project has been realized by Mati Kochavi, an Israeli billionaire behind 3i-MIND Technologies, who has produced it alongside his daughter, Maya.

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“If we want to bring the memory of the Holocaust to the young generation, we have to bring it to where they are,” he said.

The Instagram account is based on a diary that was kept by a real-life Heyman in 1944.

“The memory of the Holocaust outside of Israel is disappearing.” Mati Kochavi told The New York Times.

“We found the journal and said, ‘Let’s assume that instead of pen and paper Eva had a smartphone and documented what was happening to her.’ So we brought a smartphone to 1944.”

The project has met with the approval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But others haven’t welcomed it as warmly.

Haaretz reported comments on the account that said, “this is genocide – not a PR project for Instagram.”

Another comment said, “Where does she charge her phone? …I’m dying to know.”

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An op-ed in the newspaper by civics teacher Yuval Mendelson said the projected disrespected young Israelis.

But Noam Tirosh, a scholar focused on collective memory at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, told the newspaper that eva.stories has strong potential.

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“If Eva’s Instagram page is exploited to promote a one-dimensional, shallow narrative of the Holocaust, it is doomed to failure,” he said.

“By contrast, if it exploits the advantages that exist in Instagram to share complex messages about the Holocaust, its lessons and its significance for us today, it will be a resounding success.”

“Eva.stories” will stream starting at sundown in Israel on Wednesday.

The project will reach its climax at 10 a.m. the following day, after a two-minute siren signals a moment to remember the Holocaust’s victims.

— With files from The Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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