Auschwitz and Elon Musk: lessons from the past and visions for the future

29.02.2024

Auschwitz, once an ordinary town in the south of Poland, today a place which "claimed" thousands of innocents and which will forever remain a symbol of the biggest crime in human history. It was here, on the site of the former German Nazi concentration camp, that more than 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, Poles and even Italians, French and Hungarians, lost their lives. Auschwitz is a place that everyone should see with their own eyes at least once in their lives to realise the cruelty and senselessness of war, racism or hatred of others. Auschwitz is also a place that teaches respect for life, freedom and dignity. Auschwitz is a monument to world history that reminds us of our responsibility for the future and peace.

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THE IMPORTANCE FOR THE HUMANITY 

Visits by internationally important personalities testify to the importance of the site in the history of the modern world. Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Pope Francis and Leonardo DiCaprio are just some of the figures who have visited Auschwitz in recent years. Each of them expressed their deep emotion and shame for the crimes committed in this camp. Their visits were also an opportunity to pay tribute to the survivors and those who risked their lives to save Jews. 

There are no words to express our grief. This place is the ultimate denial of those who deny the Holocaust. It is a reminder of our duty to stand up to those who lie about our history. ~B. Obama

 Auschwitz is therefore important not only as a testimony to the past, but also as a call to responsibility and solidarity in the present and the future. 
 

Elon Musk, billionaire and inventor, joined a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau Museum on 22nd January this year. His visit was part of a conference organised by the European Jewish Association (EJA) to discuss the rise of hatred against Jews in Europe. During his visit to Poland, which was preceded by inappropriate words he shared with millions of viewers on the international X platform, part of the companies managed by Elon Musk (he agreed with a post that claimed Jews have a "dialectical hatred" for whites), he showed how complex and sensitive the issue of Holocaust remembrance is and how dialogue and cooperation are needed to build a better world. 

Do you want to see Auschwitz by yourself? Check out Discover Cracow Tours:
Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour from Krakow
A​uschwitz Shuttle - Kraków to Auschwitz Museum
Full Day Tour to Auschwitz Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine


PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE 

As one of the most influential people in the world, Elon Musk has a huge responsibility and opportunity to influence the shaping of the future, not least through social media, which, extremely popular, has become an integral part of almost everyone's life. Used daily to communicate, share information, express opinions and participate in communities with 'strangers', they are shaping the future of societies.   

His vision for the world and the innovations he continues to bring are changing the face of industries such as automotive, aviation and currently, artificial intelligence. As founder and CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company, he is striving, for example, to electrify transport, colonise Mars, link the human brain to computers or build networks of underground tunnels. In spite of his role as a visionary and innovator, he also makes a good living as a philanthropist who is involved in various initiatives to protect the environment and combat climate change, things that are placed on a pedestal of importance in the 21st century. 

One example of his work is the foundation of the $100 million XPRIZE award for technology to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or oceans, with the aim of helping to scale up solutions that will remove 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050. This will help in the fight against climate change and restore the Earth's carbon balance. 

Few are familiar with his partnership with UNICEF to bring solar power and clean water to schools in Burundi to help and improve living and educational conditions for more than 60,000 children and young people facing poverty and drought every day.  

Elon Musk also supports other organisations and initiatives working on renewable energy (supporting Global Green), planting trees (#TeamTrees) or promoting electric transport (Tesla). He shows that it is possible to combine a passion for science and technology with concern for and non-pollution of the environment. 


 

We live in a time when climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss threaten our health and safety. We cannot be indifferent to these problems or count on someone else to solve them for us. We must act collectively and responsibly to protect our planet and its resources that we all use, and to ensure a better quality of life for us and future generations.  

Therefore, let's focus on the future, but let's not forget the past, shaping our present. 

Article by: Julia Jagieła


 

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