Yad Vashem issues an urgent call to action to the Jewish world to join the International 11th hour campaign to gather names of Holocaust victims.
In advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) on May 5, 2005 and of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and VE day, Yad Vashem is issuing an urgent call to action to the Jewish world to join the International 11th hour campaign to gather names of Holocaust victims.
"The memory of millions of Holocaust victims will pass into oblivion as those that remember them leave us," warned Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate. "Now is the time for the Jewish people to work together to register the unrecorded names."
In fulfilling its mandate to memorialize and preserve the legacy of each individual Jew who died at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators, Yad Vashem created The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. Now available at http://www.yadvashem.org/, the site is a revolutionary milestone in Holocaust remembrance that provides an opportunity to search for names, photographs and brief histories of over three million Holocaust victims, while also enabling the on-line submission of names, photographs and documents.
As many names are still missing, Yad Vashem is calling upon those who possess information on victims that are not recorded in the Database to urgently submit these missing names. Stressing the fact that testimonies and names given in the past to organizations other than Yad Vashem are probably NOT in the Central Database, Yad Vashem recommends conducting a search prior to the submission of names.
While making this appeal to individuals, Yad Vashem also urges Jewish organizations and survivor groups to initiate local name collections campaigns and to encourage their members to join such campaigns.
Victims’ names may be registered by submitting a form known as a Page of Testimony on-line. Paper forms are also available in several languages and may be downloaded from Yad Vashem’s website, or requested at: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +972-2-6443582 or Fax: +972-2-6443579
Organizations wishing to mobilize a names’ collection drive should contact: email@example.com
Since launching the Database in November 2004, the website has recorded over 4 million visitors from over 178 countries around the world. Of the millions who have visited the website, thousands of people have written to Yad Vashem to express their admiration and appreciation for this vital step in Holocaust remembrance. Some, with personal connections to the Shoah, have reconnected with the past; others have discovered a part of their history they did not know. Many have simply been overwhelmed the experience of “meeting the victims” and, in the words of one newspaper editorial, “seeing them look back at us.” Hundreds of families have discovered lost relatives with reunions taking place in Israel, the US, Germany and more.
More information on the Names’ Database is available on-line.