Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Newsletter No. 15,  January 2010

What’s New | Spotlight on the Web | Names Recovery | Recent Events | With Your Support  |  Yad Vashem Magazine | Support Us

What’s New
Architecture of Murder:
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints

Anonymous No Longer

Architecture of Murder – The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints

A new exhibition, marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, opened at Yad Vashem on January 25, 2010 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and diplomats of some 80 countries. Displayed alongside the original architectural sketches of Auschwitz are an aerial photo of the massive complex, the Vrba-Wetzler Report, written by two Jewish escapees from Auschwitz in 1944, an album displaying pictures of the camp’s construction and quotes from SS men and Jewish inmates describing the site and its murderous purposes.  The exhibition will be on display in the Exhibitions Pavilion through February 28, 2010, after which parts of the exhibition will be displayed in the foyer of the Archives and Library Building at Yad Vashem. A traveling version of the exhibition opened at the UN Headquarters in New York on January 26, 2010.

“Anonymous No Longer”

In creating the permanent exhibition for the new Holocaust History Museum, one of the many elements Yad Vashem sought to introduce was the emphasis on the fate of the individual during the Holocaust. Identifying the men, women and children who appear in the photographic display restores names and identities to unknown faces, thereby rescuing them from anonymity. Since the new Museum was inaugurated in 2005, survivors and individuals have come forward and identified themselves, their relatives and acquaintances in the photographs on display. “Anonymous No Longer” presents the names of those who have been identified since the opening of the new Museum in 2005.

Spotlight on the Web

A record breaking 10 million visits to  www.yadvashem.org were recorded during 2009, a 25% increase over the previous year.

New Online Exhibition
New Online Exhibition

A new online exhibition highlights music that was created in the ghettos, camps and partisan groups. “Heartstrings, Music of the Holocaust” is a testimony to the power of that music which served many different purposes – as a source of comfort; as a form of resistance, as relief and entertainment and even as criticism of local Jewish leaders. The exhibition includes a very interesting section about the conductor and composer Shmerke Kaczerginski. While in the Vilna ghetto he wrote songs to console his fellow inhabitants; directed theater productions and literary evenings; and later was actively involved in partisan activities. During the war, while in the forest, he already began documenting the stories and songs that he had written and heard. After the war he continued this work becoming an expert in the area and recording 60 songs sung by Holocaust survivors. The songs in this exhibition are part of those recordings, which are now preserved in the Yad Vashem Archives.

Names Recovery

Commemoration Efforts Provide Psychological Relief to Survivors

Commemoration Efforts Provide Psychological Relief to Survivors

Visit our new "Feedback" link highlighting reactions and insights from people implementing the Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project. Included are descriptions of how Pages of Testimony can be used as a therapeutic tool to help survivors memorialize their relatives and friends that perished by enabling them to externalize their pain and helping to provide them with peace of mind. Each Page of Testimony documents the name of a formerly anonymous victim and fulfills survivors’ responsibility to bear witness.
To learn more about the project or to launch a Names Recovery Campaign in your area please contact

For more information about the Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project, please contact: names.proj@yadvashem.org.il

Recent Events

Inaugural Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators Opens
Inaugural Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators Opens

A group of Australian educators were recently at the International School for Holocaust Studies to attend the inaugural seminar of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian educators.  While at Yad Vashem, the group had an opportunity to meet with top experts in the fields of Holocaust education and research and take part in discussions of the history of the Holocaust, lectures and presentations on effective Holocaust education. The program, established by the Gandel family of Melbourne, is a long-term professional development project designed to provide vital expert training to Australian educators who are active in Holocaust instruction throughout Australia. 

Highlights from the Newsroom

Auschwitz blueprints go on display in Israel
Blueprint for genocide on display at Yad Vashem Holocaust museum
Accurate Holocaust Remembrance

Art in the Time of the Holocaust puts the spotlight on Yad Vashem’s unique collection of art created during the Holocaust.

Educators Israel-bound for Holocaust studies in the Australian Jewish News reports on the new Gandel Holocaust Studies Program.

With Your Support...

Virtues of Memory – Six Decades of Survivors’ Creativity

Giving verbal expression to the horrors of the Holocaust is extremely difficult and some survivors have found an alternative “voice” through art. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has received paintings from survivors that have become part of its Art Collection. Yad Vashem will provide a platform for these survivors, making their voices heard, in an upcoming exhibition ”Virtues of Memory – Six Decades of Survivors’ Creativity”. The exhibition, scheduled to open in April 2010 on Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, will exhibit around 300 works of art. Never before has such extensive research on this subject been conducted and presented in an exhibition.

A catalogue featuring all the participating artists, their biographies and images of their art, will accompany the exhibition. Yad Vashem is urgently in need of your support to enable us to present the artists or their families with a copy of this catalogue as a lasting tribute to their artistic testimony. To support this important project, please contact the International Relations department.

Yad Vashem’s activities and programs would not be possible without the support of our many donors and friends. In these difficult days, when pursuing the important mission of commemoration of the Holocaust has never been more necessary, Yad Vashem more than ever needs you to join us in our efforts to transform commemoration into a lasting commitment to the Jewish people, to moral values and to responsible action. Yad Vashem welcomes the ongoing partnership and visits from its friends and supporters:

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Visit our newly updated website at www.yadvashem.org 


Yad Vashem Quarterly Magazine

Yad Vashem Quarterly Magazine

The Winter edition of the magazine Yad Vashem Jerusalem  is now online.  Learn more about the International Institute for Holocaust Research and read about the New Encyclopedia of the Ghettos, the first comprehensive reference book of its kind. Meet Holocaust educators on  “Graduate Spotlight” which highlights a recent participant in one of the International School for Holocaust Studies educational programs. An article reviewing differing perspectives by historians in the newest volume of Yad Vashem studies is a fascinating look at how multiple perspectives enrich our understanding of complex issues.

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