Mati Kovachi wanted to share stories about the Holocaust in a way that would be meaningful to younger audiences. On the Eva.Stories account, 70 Instagram stories were created to chronicle the life of Eva Heyman, a 13-year-old Jewish girl whose life took a tragic turn when the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944.
[Scroll down for video]
Eva.Stories, according to a report by the Daily Mail, is based on the diary of Heyman, showing just how her ordinary life spiraled downward when Nazis conquered Hungary in the spring of 1944. The stories feature creative reenactments of Heyman’s life.
Kovachi wanted to tell Heyman’s story in a new way, selecting an approach that would help younger generations understand what happened and connect more deeply.
“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. “And they’re on Instagram.”
Kavachi created the stories with his daughter, Maya. Heyman’s experience was produced similar to a Hollywood-style movie, featuring a cast of actors. There was also a multi-million dollar budget for the project.
The stories were shot as if Heyman had a smartphone to chronicle her life and for posting updates on social media. It begins with Heyman describing her happy teen life and her dreams for the future.
“This is my page for random thoughts, crushes, #BFFS,” says Heyman cheerfully in the beginning of the trailer. “One day I’ll be a famous reporter, but for now I live with my grandparents.”
“I am surrounded by war, but I am always seeing the sun.”
As Nazis make their way into Hungary and begin targeting Hungarian Jews, the story takes a turn. Heyman’s family’s business is confiscated, along with their home and belongings, and Heyman is deported.
“I don’t believe in anything anymore,” Heyman states in one of the latter videos. “All I know is that I want to live. I’ll wait until the end of the world, in a small cellar, or a roof or in some secret canny, just as long as they don’t kill me. Only that they shall let me live.”
In the next story, Heyman is put on a train destined for Auschwitz.
Approximately 430,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to Nazi concentration camps between May 15, 1944, and July 9, 1944. Heyman was among those who were deported.
Tragically, she died in Auschwitz, along with so many others.