Elon Musk admitted to being “naive” about the recent rise in antisemitism after visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland on Monday — an experience the tech mogul described as “incredibly moving.”
“It hits you much more in the heart when you see it in person,” Musk, the world’s richest person, said after touring the death camp near the Polish city of Krakow.
“I think it will take a few days to sink in, frankly.”
Musk — who has been accused of allowing antisemitic messages on his social media platform X — acknowledged that he was “naive” about the surge in antisemitism in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks against Israel.
“It’s not like I have one Jewish friend,” Musk said. “Two-thirds of my friends are Jewish.”
“I’m like Jewish by association,” he said with a laugh.
Musk laid a wreath and participated in a memorial service organized by the European Jewish Association during the private visit. He was photographed with his young son, Techno Mechanicus, on his shoulders while standing next to Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev and Daily Wire podcaster Ben Shapiro.
Birkenau is a village near Oswiecim, in southern Poland, fenced off with barbed wire, where wooden barracks for the prisoners and the ruins of a gas chamber endure as evidence of Nazi crimes, and where a monument to the victims stands. International ceremonies are held there each year.
Musk said that the Holocaust would have been prevented if the technology that exists today was available to humanity decades ago.
“If there would have been social media, it would have been impossible to hide,” Musk said.
The memorial and museum at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp pays homage to the estimated 1.1 million Jews, Gypsies, Poles and Allied POWs who died at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
The European Jewish Association staged its annual conference in Krakow this week to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is commemorated on Jan. 27.
Musk’s visit to Auschwitz coincides with attempts by his social media company, X, to win back advertisers following accusations it was allowing pro-Nazi content to run rampant on the site.
Several big brands, including Disney and IBM, stopped advertising on the platform last year after liberal advocacy group Media Matters said that their ads were appearing alongside pro-Nazi content and white nationalist posts.
X has since sued Media Matters, saying the Washington-based nonprofit manufactured the report to “drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp.”
Musk himself has denied accusations that he is antisemitic.
Critics leveled the charge after he backed an X post by a user who appeared to be blaming Jews for allowing “hordes of minorities” into western countries.
The mogul paid a visit to Israel in late November to show solidarity with the people there following the deadly Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists which left nearly 1,200 soldiers and civilians dead.
The X owner lashed out at Disney CEO Bob Iger at a business conference, telling his company and others who abandoned the platform to “go f–k yourself.”
X’s 2023 ad sales were projected to fall to about $2.5 billion, Bloomberg News reported last month.
With Post wires