How Montana Tucker is helping the next gen learn about the Holocaust
International Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on January 27th, 2023. For many young people, this historical event will feel even farther from them as survivors of the Holocaust begin to disappear. That's exactly why Montana Tucker — dancer, singer and actress — recently went on a journey to learn about the Holocaust and her grandparents’ survival stories, documenting her experience in a new series, “How To: Never Forget."
While viewers can watch the 23-minute docuseries in full today on YouTube, Montana will also share them as 1-minute clips on Shorts leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day. With this approach, she plans to use her platform to reach younger generations and mobile-first creators who love short-form video.
As part of the release, Montana and the producer of the series, Dan Luxenberg, hosted an advanced screening and Q&A in the YouTube offices on January 17th to educate creators within the YouTube Shorts Creator Community and share Montana’s story. After the screening, the Q&A evolved into an impactful conversation on how creators can show up and support, gather the courage and bravery to speak up on social platforms and use their reach for good.
We recently caught up with Montana to learn why she embarked on this project and the important lessons she learned along the way.
Montana — your channel is all about music and dance and your new series is a quite a departure from this. Tells us about your latest project.
Montana: Making my series “How To: Never Forget" was the hardest but most important thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. We went to film this back in June, before all of the craziness started in the media about antisemitism. Unfortunately, two very public figures brought antisemitism back to the front pages of our news cycle. Both of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors, so I grew up hearing their stories and learning about it my whole life. I am so grateful to have built such a large following on social media and I hope to continue educating millions of people with this series.
In your point of view, why tell this story and why do it through a YouTube series?
Montana: In a few years, there will be no more survivors left. It is our responsibility to continue telling their stories. With the continued rise of antisemitism, and with Holocaust education barely existing in the school system, it’s imperative that Gen Z and millennials are educated so that we truly ensure it never happens again.
What was something you took away from this incredibly personal experience?
Montana: The biggest lesson I learned is that it can take one person to destroy the world, but it can take one person to change the world. That was something my tour guide Zak said to me while I was at Auschwitz. Hitler tried and destroyed the world, but it can take any one of you reading this and watching my series to be the one to change the world for the better.
What do you hope viewers walk away with after watching this?
Montana: I hope that viewers really feel like they are there with me experiencing every single moment that I experienced. I know there are a lot of Holocaust documentaries and movies out there but this one is told through a grandchild’s perspective. I hope people see how words matter, and just how evil people can be… and also learn about how there were so many incredible people that weren’t Jewish that risked their lives for the Jewish people to save them.