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September 21, 2010

Holocaust survivor shares her story on Twitter

97-year-old survivor embracing social media

The Holocaust is as relevant today as it was over 65 years ago: that is the message of the 97-year-old Holocaust survivor whose memoir is being shared on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. The tweets belong to Anka Voticky's remarkable account. Her memoir, Knocking on Every Door, takes readers - and now tweeters - from Nazi-occupied Europe to a ghetto in Japanese-occupied Shanghai and eventually to Montreal in 1948, where she still lives today. Twitter users can follow Anka's journey @AnkasStory.

The groundbreaking Twitter campaign was started by the Azrieli Foundation, an organization that engages the broader Canadian public, including the younger generation, in learning about the Holocaust through memoir writing. Voticky's memoir is one of eight accounts in the Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs.

"Hearing Anka's journey communicated on Twitter brings history to the present," said Naomi Azrieli, Executive Director and Chair of the Azrieli Foundation. "Telling the story in 140 character snippets makes her account even more powerful for readers. To truly appreciate the whole story people will still need to read the book, but we hope these intriguing glimpses into Anka's experiences will help draw in many more readers."

The Foundation launches its new memoir series in Montreal on October 5 and in Toronto on October 26. In both cities, the events are associated with Holocaust Education Week, which the Foundation supports as a leading sponsor. Voticky's book is the first story the Foundation is telling on Twitter. If successful, they will continue to share other memoirs in the Series through Twitter and other social media. The fifteen volumes already published by the Foundation in their award-winning Series 1 and 2 are available online at the Foundation's website for free download and will soon be available in e-book format for e-readers and iPad.

The Holocaust Survivors Memoirs Program is an initiative of the Azrieli Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the education, support and achievement of excellence in diverse areas. The program collects, publishes and distributes the written memoirs of Canadian Holocaust survivors free of charge to libraries, educational institutions, and at Azrieli Foundation events.

For more information about the Azrieli Foundation, Anka's story and many others visit www.azrielifoundation.org or follow Anka's Story on Twitter @AnkasStory. #ShareAnkasStory today. 
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