24 May 2017
Yad Vashem and Russian Federal Archival Agency Launch Joint Project to Identify Holocaust-Related Documentation
(24 May 2017 – Jerusalem) The State of Israel and the Russian Federation signed a first-of-a-kind Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last week, enabling unprecedented archival cooperation between the two countries. The MOU provides for the exchange of copied documentation, meetings between experts, mutual assistance in expanding access to archival documentation and the establishment of joint projects. The agreement was signed in the presence of Ruti Avramovitz, Deputy to the Chief Archivist of the Israel State Archives; Dr. Haim Gertner, Director of the Yad Vashem Archives Division and Fred Hillman Chair for Holocaust Documentation; H.E. Mr. Gary Koren, Israel's Ambassador to Russia; and Dr. Andrei Artizov, Head of the Federal Archival Agency of Russia (Rosarkhiv).
The first cooperative project between the two countries will be with Yad Vashem, and will deal with locating and publicizing previously unknown Holocaust-era documentation in Russian archives. In order to promote the project, the Yad Vashem Archives will organize a conference during the coming year, with the participation of the heads of the Rosarkhiv as well as leading archive directors in the Russian Federation.
"This groundbreaking agreement allows us to work again in Russia after a long hiatus," said Dr. Haim Gertner. "The agreement will enable us to identify, together with our colleagues in Russia, archived and unknown Holocaust records. We hope that the project will help us advance the mission of recovering many of the 1.3 million names of Holocaust victims, mostly from Eastern Europe, whose details we do not yet have. "
About the Yad Vashem Archives:
The state-of-the-art Yad Vashem Archives currently houses hundreds of millions of pages of Holocaust related documentation, photographs, and video, audio and written testimonies. The collection and transfer to Yad Vashem of documents from Europe and North Africa, the filming of survivors’ testimonies and the creation of the world’s largest and most comprehensive repository of material on the Holocaust, on which the structure of Holocaust remembrance, education and research rests, is an ongoing process.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953. Located in Jerusalem, it is dedicated to Holocaust remembrance, documentation, research and education. www.yadvashem.org