Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has accepted a Holocaust survivor's invitation to visit Auschwitz concentration camp with him in Poland. Edward Mosberg, who is 94, invited Jackson to visit the camp last week after the NFL veteran was widely condemned for posting images of anti-Semitic quotations falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler and for praising Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has long espoused anti-Semitic ideas, on his Instagram feed.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Mosberg and Jackson spoke Friday via videoconference call, during which Mosberg wore the uniform given to him at the Mathausen concentration camp.
"I grew up in Los Angeles, and never really spent time with anyone from the Jewish community and didn't know much about their history, this has been such a powerful experience for me to learn and educate myself," Jackson said during the call.
"I want to take the proper steps to let people know that I never intentionally had any hatred in my heart, I never wanted to put the Jewish community down, I want to educate myself more and help bridge the gaps between all different cultures," Jackson added.
Mosberg is honorary chairman of From the Depths, a group that works with Holocaust survivors “to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to give a name to those who were brutally murdered in the dark days of the Holocaust and to continue the message to the next generations of those who survived,” its website says.
"Dialogue is the key to making this crazy world we live in a better place, with everything so divided is so powerful to bring us all together," From The Depths founder Jonny Daniels, who initiated the Zoom call between Jackson and Mosberg, said in a statement. "We are working with DeSean and his team to set dates for this trip to go ahead and are happy that DeSean agreed."
Mosberg wrote Jackson a letter last week inviting him to tour the concentration camp with him.
"Your post on Instagram quoting Adolf Hitler, the man behind one of the most evil regimes this world has ever known and the man responsible for the deaths of over 6 million Jews, including my dear parents and sisters, as well as 2 million ethnic Poles and millions of other nationalities and minorities, is heartbreaking and so deeply wrong," Mosberg wrote last week in inviting Jackson to visit Nazi death camps "to understand what evil truly is, and why sharing quotes of the man behind this evil, is so offensive to us all."
Jackson apologized Tuesday for his Instagram posts and called them a “mistake.” The Eagles, whose team owner and general manager both are Jewish, called Jackson’s comments “offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling” and said they would “take appropriate action.”
David Adelman, chairman of the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza in Philadelphia, announced Tuesday on Twitter that Jackson had accepted an invitation from him to visit the memorial for an education session and tour.