Musk visits Auschwitz and defends record on anti-Semitism
Elon Musk visited Auschwitz and participated in a memorial service at the former Nazi death camp on Monday. Musk, who had previously sparked controversy by endorsing an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, apologized for his previous actions and defended his company’s record on anti-Semitism.
The European Jewish Association (EJA) confirmed that Musk laid a wreath and joined a memorial service at Auschwitz alongside EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin. Photos showed Musk at the site with his son on his shoulders.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the EJA in Krakow, Poland, Musk described the experience as “incredibly moving” and expressed his sadness at the tragic events that took place at Auschwitz. He acknowledged the gravity of the Holocaust and the impact it has when seen in person.
Musk had faced criticism in November for responding to a post on his social media platform, X, with what was deemed an anti-Semitic comment. He apologized for his response and clarified that it was not his intention to promote hate speech or conspiracy theories.
During the conference, Musk defended his company’s record on anti-Semitism. He cited outside audits that showed X had the least amount of anti-Semitism compared to other social media platforms. However, Musk’s $44-billion takeover of X has been accompanied by accusations of a proliferation of hate speech on the platform.
The symposium where Musk spoke aimed to address the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. The EJA noted that incidents of anti-Semitism had escalated since the Israel-Hamas war and emphasized the importance of finding solutions to combat this troubling trend.
Rabbi Margolin had previously invited Musk to visit Auschwitz during a live broadcast on X. Musk agreed that it could be helpful in raising Holocaust awareness and combating anti-Semitism. He also described himself as “aspirationally Jewish” and shared his personal connection to Jewish culture.
Musk’s recent visit to Auschwitz came ahead of the 79th anniversary of the camp’s liberation, which is now observed as Holocaust Memorial Day. Over a million European Jews, along with thousands of non-Jews, died in Auschwitz during the German occupation of Poland from 1940 to 1945.
In the past, Musk has threatened legal action against organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League over their claims of increased problematic and racist speech on X. X Corp is also currently suing the non-profit Media Matters for allegedly driving away advertisers by portraying the platform as having anti-Semitic content.
While Musk’s endorsement of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in November caused significant backlash and ad boycotts, he has since expressed regret for his actions. He continues to face criticism and scrutiny over the issue of hate speech on his platform.
During a later visit to Israel, Musk discussed the issue of anti-Semitism with President Isaac Herzog, who emphasized the importance of combating anti-Semitism on platforms like X.
Despite these challenges, Musk has maintained that his life and actions are pro-Semitic, and he remains committed to addressing the issue of anti-Semitism and promoting Holocaust awareness.
Holocaust Memorial Day serves as a reminder of the importance of remembering the past and working towards a future free from hatred and discrimination.