Elon Musk visits Auschwitz-Birkenau in response to accusations of anti-Semitism on board the X-ship

Krakow, Poland — KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Elon Musk, accused of allowing anti-Semitic messages on his social media platform, X, visited the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on Monday.

Musk's visit to the most famous site of Holocaust atrocities came ahead of his scheduled appearance later Monday at a conference on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Association in the nearby Polish city of Krakow.

The billionaire has faced accusations from the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish civil rights organization, and others of tolerating anti-Semitic messages on the platform, formerly known as Twitter, since purchasing it in 2022.

He caused an uproar in November, including from the White House, when he responded to an X user who accused Jews of hating white people and declared indifference to anti-Semitism by posting, “I told the actual truth.” He later apologized for the comment, calling it the “dumbest” post he had ever made.

Several major brands, including Disney and IBM, stopped advertising on the platform last year after the liberal advocacy group Media Matters said their ads were appearing alongside pro-Nazi content and white nationalist posts. X Corp has since filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, saying the Washington-based nonprofit manufactured the report “to drive advertisers off the platform and destroy X Corp.”

Musk was photographed visiting the Birkenau site with Daily Wire anchor Ben Shapiro, who was also scheduled to attend the EJA conference. Birkenau is a village near Oświęcim, in southern Poland, fenced with barbed wire, where there are wooden barracks for prisoners and the ruins of gas chambers as evidence of Nazi crimes, and where there is a memorial to the victims. International celebrations are held there every year.

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Musk was expected to visit on Tuesday and participate in a memorial service, alongside political figures attending the EJA conference in Krakow, but he appeared at a Nazi death camp on Monday instead.

“Due to scheduling concerns, before Elon Musk arrived at the European Jewish Association conference, he participated in a private visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau with EJA President Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Ben Shapiro and Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev. Musk laid a wreath,” EJA said in an email. Flowers on the Death Wall and participated in a short memorial and service at the Birkenau Memorial.”

Musk was scheduled to discuss online anti-Semitism with Shapiro at the conference in Krakow, which was held ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

More than 1.1 million people were killed by the Nazis and their followers at Auschwitz during World War II. Most of the dead were Jews, but the victims also included Poles, Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war, and others. In all, about 6 million European Jews died during the Holocaust. When the Soviets liberated the camp, they found about 7,000 survivors.

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