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Hall of Names

The Hall of Names

About the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names is a unique international endeavor initiated and led by Yad Vashem. Its primary aim is to recover the names and reconstruct the life stories of each individual victim of the Shoah. To date an estimated four and a half million Jews murdered in the Shoah have been commemorated in the database.

Millions of names that appear in historical documents have not yet been identified or recorded in the database and many additional names still linger in the memories of survivors or in their family folklore. Building the database is a work in progress. It is our moral duty to respect their final wishes to remember them.

The Names Database was launched on the Internet in 2004 with close to three million victims documented. At that time, Yad Vashem intensified its worldwide outreach by establishing The Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project.  The project partners with Jewish communities and organizations around the world urgently encouraging families and individuals to check the database for the names of Shoah victims known to them, and assists them to complete the historical record through the submission of Pages of Testimony, photographs and other personal documentation about the victims.

In 2014 the Names Database was expanded to increase accessibility to extensive information on record at Yad Vashem regarding Jews persecuted during the Holocaust period. Details on previously unrecorded victims were added among them some whose fate has yet to be determined. This includes, for example, information on close to half of the 1.5 million Jews who fled or were evacuated to the central parts of the USSR as a result of operation Barbarossa which began on 22 June 1941. In all probability, a large number of these individuals did not survive. Efforts to obtain reliable information testifying to their final fate are ongoing.

For further information on the various sources of names in the Names’ Database click here.

Submissions can take up to six months before they are uploaded to the online database which is updated several times a year. Yad Vashem’s staff verifies and cross-references, as far as possible, the new information for historical accuracy before adding it to the Database.

Additional resources would enable Yad Vashem to shorten response time, insert new features to the site and add newly digitized lists of names at an accelerated pace.

The digitization of names of Shoah victims in the Names' Database and its uploading to the Internet were made possible through the assistance of longtime Yad Vashem supporters.

More on the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

The Impact of the Database:

"The online Names Database creates a link not only with the dead but also among the living, within the Jewish people," said Nobel Laureate Prof. Elie Wiesel after filling out a Page of Testimony for his father, Shlomo. "It strengthens the connections between families, between cities, between communities. Furthermore, it brings a heightened awareness and a deepened sense of remembrance." Read highlights of family discoveries and reunions that resulted from information documented on the Pages of Testimony in the Names Database.

View Sibling Reunion Video.

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