16 April 2009

Yad Vashem: Database updates

Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom haShoah (Hebrew) - is April 21.

For those readers who may not be aware of the Hebrew phrase, shoah refers to the Holocaust, and is frequently used in conjunction with Holocaust-related events and research, such as that detailed below.

According to Yad Vashem, during 2008, its databases have been updated.

The Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names has been enlarged and now includes nearly 3.6 million names of Holocaust victims, all accessible online.

The Names Database now contains more than 2.15 million Pages of Testimony, about two-thirds of the total number of names in the Database. Tens of thousands of Pages of Testimony were gathered as a result of intensive activity of the Names Recovery campaign in the Russian-speaking sector.

Additionally, more than 600,000 name occurrences of victims and survivors from archival lists and other documentation were digitized, among them archival documents gathered in Hungary, the former Soviet Union and other areas.

It is always worth searching Yad Vashem's resources online. Individuals around the world are continually adding new Pages of Testimony, new records are being located. The databases have been responsible for solving many family mysteries.

"Unto Every Person There is a Name" is a worldwide Holocaust memorial project in its 20th year. The goal is to perpetuate the memory of Shoah victims through public recitation of their names on Yom Hashoah. For more information, click here.

Here is a video interview with Boris Maftsir, who manages the Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project in the Nazi-occupied territories of the former Soviet Union. He describes intensive efforts to recover Ukrainian Shoah victims' names to restore the personal identities of each victim.

Yad Vashem also launched its Spanish language site here. The comprehensive new website offers extensive Holocaust resources, a multimedia exhibit of The Auschwitz Album and material on Righteous Among the Nations, and educational materials in Spanish including lesson plans, ideas for working with testimonies and two online courses: "Ghettos" and "The Final Solution."

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