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Critical analysis of the impact of Holocaust distortion


  • To raise awareness about the amount of Holocaust distortion present in social media
  • To engage participants’ processes of critical analysis of manifestations of Holocaust distortion
  • To motivate participants to take action to counter Holocaust distortion

Number of participants: 5–30
Duration: 90 minutes

Description of the activity:

  1. The trainer presents the statistics below from the UN and UNESCO Report History under attack: Holocaust denial and distortion on social media and asks the participants the following questions:
    • What do you find surprising in these statistics? Why?
    • Which platforms are your students/the participants in your educational activities using?
    • Do you encounter Holocaust distortion during your regular use of social media? If so:
    • Who is sharing it?
    • How do people react to it?
According to the UN and UNESCO report published in 2022:

  • Nearly one in five (nineteen percent) of all Holocaust-related public Twitter content either denied or distorted the history.
  • Seventeen percent of public TikTok content that related to the Holocaust either denied or distorted the Holocaust.
  • Eight percent of public Holocaust-related content on Facebook was either Holocaust denial or distortion.
  • Three percent of material posted publicly on Instagram discussing the Holocaust either denied or distorted the history.
  • Almost fifty per cent of all content relating to the Holocaust on Telegram was either Holocaust denial or distortion.
  1. The participants are asked to work in groups of 4–5 people and to analyze one example of Holocaust distortion1 based on the following questions. Each group should receive a different example from Annex 1 to analyze:
    • Were you aware of this form of manifestation of Holocaust distortion?
    • In your opinion, what are the factors that contribute to the spreading of this form of Holocaust distortion? You can refer to individual factors (beliefs, values, competences or lack thereof), societal aspects (social structures, propaganda, etc.), technological aspects (AI, social media, etc.).
    • Why do you think some people engage in this form of Holocaust distortion? Do you think they are aware of its negative impact?
    • What do you think could attract students/participants in your educational activities to believe such rhetoric?
    • What competences2 should they develop in order to identify Holocaust distortion and not be manipulated by it or attracted to such rhetoric?
  2. The groups are invited to briefly present the conclusions of their discussion in plenary. The groups are asked not to repeat what was already said by those who presented previously, but to add what was missing or to express what is perceived differently.
  3. The trainer conducts a debriefing discussion based on the following questions:
    • Which aspects discussed in this activity surprised you and made you think? Why?
    • What is, in your opinion, the role education can play in preventing and countering such manifestations of Holocaust distortion?
    • In what way do you think artificial intelligence can contribute to the spread of Holocaust distortion? How may it be used to limit or counter its spread?
  4. The trainer concludes by informing the participants that in the next units they will have more opportunities to discuss the impact of Holocaust distortion as well and the competences needed to counter it, including pedagogical approaching for developing participants’ competences for democratic culture.

1 Suggested examples are offered in Annex 1. Careful consideration should be given when choosing the examples, in order to ensure that they are relevant for the specific context in which the participants live and work. 

2 The trainer can allow participants to refer to any framework of competences they regularly use or offer them a reference framework of competences to guide this process, such as UNESCO Global Citizenship Education Domains; Model of Competences for Democratic Culture; Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, etc.


lesson plan

Training Outline


Annex 1 – Case studies

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