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Holocaust survivor Manya Bigunov lights a torch during a Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day ceremony in memory of the 6 million Jewish men, women and children murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators, at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem on April 7. Photo by Heidi Levine/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Amid a rise in online anti-Semitism, Holocaust survivors are sharing their experiences on social media in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day Thursday.

Why it matters: The #ItStartedWithWords campaign is aimed at educating people on the Nazi genocide — and how hate speech paved the way for mass murder.

What they're saying: Six individual videos and a compilation were released Thursday on social media.

  • The "gas chambers in Auschwitz and elsewhere did not begin with bricks," Abe Foxman, born in Poland, said in his video message. "They began with words. Evil words, hateful words, anti-Semitic words."
  • Words like "dirty Jew" and "we will eliminate you all," said Colette Avital, who grew up in Romania.
  • "They considered us as sub-human," Sidney Zoltak said, adding that anti-Semitism was not only tolerated but encouraged in Poland.
  • These days, "we’re few in numbers but our voices are heard," Zoltak, an 89-year-old survivor from Poland, told AP.
    • "We are not there to tell them stories that we read or that we heard — we are telling facts, we are telling what happened to us. ... And I think that this is the strongest possible way."

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, a UN-backed group that negotiates compensations for victims, organized the campaign.

The big picture: Anti-Semitic hate moved online amid the pandemic, perpetuating conspiracy theories that blamed Jews for COVID's impacts, a study from Tel Aviv University found.

  • Leaders have voiced concern that online hate could lead to physical attacks once lockdown ends.
  • Research also shows that young people are increasingly lacking knowledge about the Holocaust.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.