Elon Musk makes private visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau

KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) – Elon Musk privately visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau site of a former Nazi German concentration camp on Monday before speaking later at a conference on rising antisemitism, after his social media platform X came under fire for some content.

The European Jewish Association (EJA) said Musk made the visit with EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, conservative U.S. journalist Ben Shapiro and Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev.

“Musk laid a wreath at the wall of death and took part in a short memorial ceremony and service by the Birkenau¬†memorial,” an EJA spokesman said.

Musk was due later on Monday to speak in the southern Polish city of Krakow, a short drive from the memorial, at a conference addressing the rise in antisemitism since the Israel-Hamas conflict started in October.

X – formerly Twitter – has seen some major advertisers pause spending or flee since Musk late last year described as “the actual truth” an X post by a user espousing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

A report from liberal watchdog group Media Matters precipitated the advertiser exit, which said it had found ads next to posts that supported Nazism. The platform has filed a lawsuit against Media Matters for defamation.

Musk travelled last November to Israel, where he said he was against antisemitism and anything that “promotes hate and conflict” and stated that X would not promote hate speech. He also toured the site of Hamas’ assault in the country on Oct. 7.

The Auschwitz Memorial preserves the site of the death camp set up by Nazi Germany on the territory of occupied Poland during World War Two. More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished there in gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease.

In August last year, the Auschwitz Memorial criticised the X platform for failing to remove an antisemitic post on the site.

(Reporting by Karol Badohal, writing by Jason Hovet, Editing by Hugh Lawson)