Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg regarding Facebook’s banning of the Holocaust movie, “Beautiful Blue Eyes”

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Although I have not directly heard your feelings on the subject that I am about to address, seeing as you hold the ultimate responsibility for what takes place on Facebook, it is of critical importance that I reach out to you.  I am referring to the sitewide banning of the movie “Beautiful Blue Eyes” from every aspect of Facebook. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/facebook-holocaust-film-race-policy-1234592908/

I could start by saying that I have no personal stake in the success of this movie, but that would not be entirely true. You see Mr. Zuckerberg, not only do I have a stake in it, you do as well.  I do not know you, so I do not claim to know how you feel about your connection to the past, but I do know you are a Jewish man who has never hidden from that fact.  It must be understood that the survival of the Jewish people will always be connected to acknowledging and remembering our persecution. So I ask you, does the future of the Jewish people mean anything to you? Or are the policies of Facebook so out of touch with reality and are you so detached from the operations of this giant you created that we are subjected to this ignorant and highly detrimental stance?

My personal issues towards this matter can be best explained by telling you a little bit about my background.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors, and the importance of this and how it relates to me personally is not by any means exaggerated.  When I see Facebook banishing a movie with the title “Beautiful Blue Eyes” because as the ruling states, it violates the policy against content that “includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race,” knowing a little what the movie is about, I am in utter shock and disbelief.  The title of the story is based on someone who is part of the story, someone with blue eyes, who was murdered by the Nazis.  As someone whose father had eyes the color of a blue ocean, knowing that both his parents and younger sister were also murdered by the Nazis, it’s hard to imagine one of the 3, if not all of them, not having blue eyes. And had my father not been blessed to survive, his blue eyes would not have stopped the Nazis from murdering him as well. 

But the stronger message here may come from relating to the story of my mother and her side of the family.  Whether Facebook chooses to acknowledge this or not, the Nazis often identified their victims, particularly their Jewish victims, from their physical appearance.  This was as evident in the Netherlands as anywhere else. My mother, born in Amsterdam and of Sephardic Jewish descent, looked different than most Dutch people at that time.  My father, who had red hair and blue eyes, could, for all intents and purposes, hide in plain sight.  My mother, with dark hair, brown eyes, and a darker complexion, immediately was recognized as being Jewish.  It was only through the help of my father who worked with the resistance, and the hand of God, that my mother survived.  But sadly, her father and brother, with similar physical attributes were taken to Auschwitz and murdered. The importance of my mother’s appearance was so significant and so important in understanding what took place that I even named the book in which I chronicle their 5 years in Holland during the Nazi Occupation, as “Jew Face”. https://hollandsheroes.com/general-book-information/ And just like “Beautiful Blue Eyes”, the title was based partly on a character in the book, my mother, and partly on an incident that took place.

As someone who is proud to be Jewish and forever cognizant of the past, present, and likely future threats we will always face, my reasoning for calling the book “Jew Face” was clearly not a racist or bigoted attack on, of all people, my fellow Jews.  Maybe the point can best be made clear to you and anyone who may choose to bury their head in the sands of Woke Beach, by sharing the following anecdote.

After the publishing of my book, close to 5 years after my father’s passing, my mother would occasionally speak to various institutions about her experiences during those horrific times.  She would often use the book as a guide in telling the story, and when on one occasion she informed the audience of its title, “Jew Face”, a woman commented to her that, “this is an ugly title for a book”.  My mother’s immediate and instinctive response was, “it was an ugly time”.  Maybe this is what you and the people who work for you are not comprehending.  Sometimes to make a point, a point that can ultimately promote love and understanding and even save lives, you need to say and do harsh things.  To avoid this in the name of equality or standards is at best shortsighted and divisive, at worst it is out and out dangerous.  In fact, this application that states it violates the policy against content that “includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race,” is so out of touch with the reality, it is closer to Holocaust denial than it is to enforcement of a ruling in the name of the common good.

I urge you to look at this situation with a broader and more educated perspective and realize that decisions such as these are counterproductive to what you claim to be important.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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2 responses to “Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg regarding Facebook’s banning of the Holocaust movie, “Beautiful Blue Eyes”

  • Atie Immink

    Dear Mr. Groen,
    This was a great action from you to write this letter to Marc Zuckerberg. The Holocaust may never be underestimated of what it has caused to the Jewish people!.
    In our present world it should be a lesson of what could easily happen again. As a daughter of Albert Jan en Jansje Immink and niece of uncle Bertus and tante Geesje te Kiefte my family fortunately has made the right choices.
    But there are too many people who ignore the past and who do not realize that it coul happen again..
    so thank you for having written this letter to mr Zuckerberg.
    With kind regards,
    Atie Immink

    • davidgroen1

      It is so wonderful to hear from you and to know that you appreciated my letter. You come from am amazing family and your opinion truly means a lot to me. And please, anyone in your family should always feel comfortable calling me David

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