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JewishGen and Yad Vashem Drive to Record Holocaust Victims' Names


JewishGen is joining with Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem – in Yad Vashem's latest drive to record the missing names of Jews who died in the Shoah.

For almost half a century, Yad Vashem has been compiling the names of millions of Holocaust victims, but many are still unrecorded.  It has recently launched a new campaign to collect and computerize as many of the missing names as possible.  JewishGen fully supports and endorses this campaign, which in essence is an urgent mission for the Jewish people as a whole, with poignant links to our broken roots.  We urge JewishGenners to participate in this campaign and give it all the assistance they can.

The names are registered on 'Pages of Testimony', a specially devised form of legal validity.  These are held in perpetuity in Yad Vashem's 'Hall of Names', where they stand in silent memory of the victims and in lieu of the marked graves they never had.  In the first two months of its current campaign, Yad Vashem has received over 150,000 additional Pages of Testimony, mainly from within Israel.

We, JewishGenners, have the skills and resources to help in two ways.

First, many of us already have names of Shoah victims in our family trees and computers.  But, all too often, we have never taken the crucial next step of recording them on Pages of Testimony.

Secondly, we can go out and actively seek names (not necessarily of our own relatives) from Holocaust survivors and others with memories of that tragic era.  We never had the incentive to do so — now we do.

All you need to do is to go to www.yadvashem.org.il to download a blank Page of Testimony (English form, Hebrew form).  Fill it out as far as you can (full details are not necessary) and sign it by hand (a legal requirement).  Then, send the completed form by mail to:

American Society for Yad Vashem
500 Fifth Ave., Suite 1600
New York, NY   10110-1699
U.S.A.
      or       Hall of Names
Yad Vashem
P.O.B. 3477
Jerusalem 91034
ISRAEL
(or, if you live outside the USA, as instructed when downloading the form).

In the light of our special interests, Yad Vashem eventually intends to make available on its website the computerized names and other personal details in order to identify specific victims.  It also has plans to collate the names on over 10,000 lists of victims it possesses from various European sources, so that comprehensive information will be more accessible to researchers and genealogists.

But, as of now, the "order of the day" is to bring in the names.  Time is running out.


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Updated by WSB   Jan 10 2002.

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