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Yad Vashem Launches YouTube Channel in Farsi in Advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 23, 2011

The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres speaks in a special video address  marking the launch of the Farsi Channel in Youtube The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres speaks in a special video address marking the launch of the Farsi Channel in Youtube
Chairman of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev Chairman of Yad Vashem, Avner Shalev
Holocaust Survivor Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli Holocaust Survivor Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli
Prof. David Yerushalmi, of the Center for Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University who served as the website and YouTube Channel linguistic advisor Prof. David Yerushalmi, of the Center for Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University who served as the website and YouTube Channel linguistic advisor
Prof. Yossi Matias, Director of Israel R&D Center, Google Prof. Yossi Matias, Director of Israel R&D Center, Google

To mark the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem has launched a YouTube channel in Farsi, as well as an expanded version of its Farsi website.

The Farsi YouTube channel contains survivor testimonies, films, archival footage, and mini-lectures by Holocaust historians on topics such as contemporary antisemitism, why the Allies didn't bomb Auschwitz, and what makes the Holocaust a unique historical event. The comprehensive new website includes a chronological and thematic narrative about the Holocaust, with related videos, photos, documents and artifacts, frequently asked questions about the Holocaust, a lexicon of terms, online exhibitions including a multimedia presentation of the Auschwitz Album in Farsi, and stories of Righteous Among the Nations.

The Launch, covered by the international press, was held on Sunday, 23 January 2011, in the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, and was conducted in Hebrew, English and Farsi. Addresses were delivered by Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, the website's language advisor Prof. David Yerushalmi, of the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University, Director and Head of Google Israel's R&D Center Yossi Matias, and Auschwitz survivor Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli.

Addressing viewers in remarks taped for the launch that now appear on the YouTube channel, President Shimon Peres encouraged people to visit the site: “History is rich in events, but there is one event that is exceptional, which is a watershed. That is the Holocaust. When a cultured nation in an organized manner killed 6 million people because they were Jews, including a million and a half babies and children. What we suggest is that each of you will see the material, which is based on records and on photos, to understand what happened, and also to be able to tell your own children to beware, not to let history fall again to such a depth, to such shame,” he said.

“One of our primary goals is to make credible information about the Holocaust accessible to as wide an audience as possible,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem. “Today, when there is so much disinformation and distortion easily available online, we provide an alternative to anyone who is interested in the truth.”

Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli, a survivor of Auschwitz whose testimony is included in the site and YouTube channel said, “I'm very moved that my testimony and that of other Holocaust survivors has been translated into Farsi and are on the Yad Vashem website. I see great importance in that Farsi speakers will be able to visit the site, to read and hear about the Holocaust in their own language. Holocaust denial exists in many countries, and that is why it is important that people will see us, the Holocaust survivors, and listen to our testimony, and learn about the events of the Holocaust - also in Farsi.”

Like the websites Yad Vashem operates in Hebrew, English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, the Farsi website includes:

  • A chronological and thematic narrative about the Holocaust, divided into 10 main chapters, and 35 subchapters. Each chapter features relevant photographs, videoed survivor testimonies, original archival footage, documents and artifacts.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Holocaust
  • A lexicon of basic Holocaust-related terms
  • Timeline
  • Online exhibitions providing an informative and experiential context for different Holocaust-related topics
  • Stories about Righteous Among the Nations
  • Online multimedia center

Yad Vashem sees YouTube as a highly important tool for disseminating information and photographs to all who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust. Yad Vashem has made it a priority to ensure that the information and materials about the Shoah in its possession become available and accessible to as many users in as many languages as possible. The cooperation with YouTube thus helps Yad Vashem achieve this objective. The YouTube channel in Farsi joins Yad Vashem's YouTube channels in English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.

The Farsi YouTube channel and expanded Farsi website were made possible with the generous support of Greg Rosshandler and family, from Australia.

Click here to view Yad Vashem's YouTube Channel in Farsi:

www.youtube.com/yadvashemfarsi