Elon Musk took a private tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland as he defended his social platform, X, against accusations of spreading antisemitism.
“It was incredibly moving, and deeply sad and tragic that humans could do this to humans,” the billionaire Tesla Inc. chief and X owner said on Monday of the site — where an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed by the Nazis during World War II.
Musk was seen carrying his son on his shoulders in a photo of the tour, as he stood alongside Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the chairman of the European Jewish Association, Holocaust survivor Gidon Lev, and Ben Shapiro, a controversial conservative media pundit.
Shapiro later hosted a discussion with Musk, organized by the EJA in nearby Krakow, during which Musk championed his social platform, formerly Twitter. Play Video
Without making a direct reference to an antisemitic post that he amplified in November — triggering widespread criticism and a halt to advertising of major brands including Apple Inc. and Walt Disney Co. — the billionaire issued a mea culpa of sorts.
“Once in a while I’ll do something dumb, for sure,” he said.
As Musk has fought off charges of amplifying antisemitism, he traveled to Israel in November where he met with leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, and saw the sites where 1,200 people were murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7.
But there was no noticeable change in tone from him, or on X, following the trip. Anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate has also soared on the platform.
At the conference in Krakow, the X owner said he was “frankly naive” about the spread of antisemitism, reiterating a comment that he himself is “aspirationally Jewish.”
Throughout their conversation, both Musk and Shapiro recapitulated their views on a number of hot-button themes. Elite universities had been corrupted, Musk agreed with the influencer. The two excoriated diversity, equity and inclusion programs, which Musk called discriminatory and “fundamentally antisemitic.”