The BBC World Service has apologised after a tweet stating the number of Yiddish speakers in the world were “severely depleted by the mid 20th century” did not mention the Holocaust.
The since-removed tweet, intended to promote a radio programme discussing the history of the language, was widely criticised online for appearing to gloss over the true reasons millions of European Jews no longer live to speak the dialect.
The broadcaster issued an apology on Friday, tweeting: “We have removed an earlier tweet promoting our programme The Forum, Yiddish: A story of survival. The wording wasn’t right and we apologise”.
Labour councillor Neil Nerva joined a chorus of criticism online, tweeting last Friday: “Maybe another example of English irony that the depleted people do not get.”
The programme now available online, entitled “Yiddish: A story of survival”, explores a possible revival of the language once spoken by an estimated 10 million people across the continent.
It features interviews with the Russian-Yiddish performer Polina Skovoroda Shepherd and Dr Lily Kahn from University College London’s Hebrew and Jewish studies department and author of the textbook “Colloquial Yiddish”.