Newsletter No. 25, May 2012
Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012
Israel's President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dignitaries, diplomats and thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families gathered on the evening of April 18, 2012, in Yad Vashem's Warsaw Ghetto Square for the official ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. A complete broadcast of the ceremony is now available for viewing, and a special mini-site has been uploaded which includes the torchlighter stories and films. Commemorative ceremonies took place on the Mount Remembrance throughout the day, including the wreath-laying ceremony in Warsaw Ghetto Square and the recitation of Holocaust victims' names by members of their families and members of the public in the Hall of Remembrance.
The following day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies hosted 2,500 youth who took part in the "Open Community Center." They participated in a variety of educational activities including workshops and guided tours, as well as attending short plays and specially choreographed dance programs relating to the day's theme: "My Brother's Keeper: Jewish Solidarity during the Holocaust." Later in the afternoon, youth from Zionist youth groups gathered together for a special ceremony in the Valley of the Communities.
Traveling Exhibition Now at UN Plaza
Yad Vashem's traveling exhibition “With Me Are 6 Million Accusers: The Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem" is now on display in the Main Gallery of the Visitors' Lobby at the UN in New York. The exhibition focuses on visual aspects of the event: documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, artifacts and works of art. On display is original footage from the filming of the trial, and various additional media productions, to allow visitors to get a sense of the trial as it occurred. International media coverage of the 1961 court hearing in Jerusalem, which included testimony by Holocaust survivors, captured public attention around the globe and was considered a turning point in Holocaust remembrance. The exhibition will be on display at the UN through the end of May 2012. The exhibition is also currently being shown at Yad Vashem in the foyer of the Auditorium, and an online version is available on the Yad Vashem website.
VE Day Event Marks WWII Victory
Wednesday May 9, 2012, Yad Vashem held the official ceremony marking the anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Hundreds of Jewish World War II veterans of the Allied armies, the majority from the former Soviet Union, attended the celebratory ceremony, along with Jewish partisans, wounded soldiers from the war against the Nazis, underground fighters, volunteers from the Yishuv who fought in the British forces and veterans of the Jewish Brigade, as well as diplomatic representatives from the Allied countries. The ceremony took place with the participation of Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver and Minister Yossi Peled.
The Spring edition of Yad Vashem's quarterly magazine, Jerusalem, is now available online. Highlights include exploring the theme for Holocaust Remembrance Day 2012, biographies of the torchlighters, the opening of the New International Seminars Wing of the International School for Holocaust Studies, an introduction to one of the School's graduates from Macau, China and a look at "Operation Reinhard," including a chilling, yet fascinating article, about efforts of Polish Jews to share information about their fate with their friends and family.
Seasons in the Dark
The Road from Przemysl to Nazi Hell
In association with the Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs Project
$18.00, in our online store
This is a gripping, vivid memoir of suffering, loss, initiative, and lonely survival during the Holocaust. Leon Frim was a lawyer in Przemysl, Poland and a talented artist, a skill that saved his own life and his son Karol's time and again. Throughout his rich, compelling account, Frim's desperate efforts to save his family are keenly felt. We follow his struggle through the Przemysl ghetto and three Nazi murder operations. We feel his loss when his wife Dora disappears after fleeing to hide with a friend in Lwow. We feel his pain through a long series of camps, a murderous death march, and the final internment of his son Karol in Buchenwald where he died shortly before liberation. Frim's powerful writing, including his description of Buchenwald and the marker he designed for his son's last resting place, leaves an indelible mark on the reader.
Historians Race Clock to Collect Holocaust Survivor Stories, in USA Today
Who was Lili Ney and why did she die? in Haaretz
Haunting and Poignant Poster Marks Holocaust, on Israel National News
Heirloom Haggada Conjures Childhood Memories for Survivor, in the Jerusalem Post
Yad Vashem Honors Righteous Among the Nations from Poland, on EJP
Yad Vashem seminar helped history teacher, in the Canadian Jewish News
With Your Support
Gathering the Fragments
Vera Brand was born in 1940 in Lvov, Poland, to Regina and Haim Lifshitz. Three weeks after her birth, the family was exiled to Siberia, where they lived for two years. In 1941, Haim Lifshitz joined the Polish “Anders Army,” and was later transferred to Tehran, Persia, then under British control. Regina followed with Vera and her sister-in-law Luba, as part of the “Tehran Children” group – 860 children and 369 adults who fled Poland to Eretz Israel via Teheran. In January 1943, the group sailed from Tehran to Karachi, India (now Pakistan). While in a transit camp in Karachi, Vera received a doll from an Indian soldier. Vera named the doll "Lala" ("doll" in Polish). From Karachi they sailed to Suez, and on February 18, 1943, the group arrived in Eretz Israel, where "Lala" was renamed "Ilana."
This year Vera parted with her precious doll "Ilana," in the framework of the "Gathering the Fragments" campaign. "Ilana" is one of more than 51,000 documents, diaries, photos, personal mementos artifacts and works of art donated to Yad Vashem from 3,100 indivudals during the national Israeli campaign that began in 2011. The preservation of these items will enable the research community, educators and the general public to learn more about the fate of Jewish individuals and communities destroyed as well as those that survived – and ensure that they are not forgotten.
Your support is urgently needed in order to help us in this race against time to collect as many items as possible together with the first hand stories of the survivors who preserved them. To learn more about supporting this important initiative, please contact the International Relations Division.
New Features on Revamped Database
Yad Vashem has recently launched a new platform for the online Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, unveiling state-of-the-art features and once again setting a new professional standard. The database offers an improved user experience including: Wizard-based Pages of Testimony submission forms, enhanced search capabilities and Google Maps integration. When the Database was uploaded to the Internet in 2004, it was heralded as a pioneering use of technology in the service of memory. Aimed at recording the names of Holocaust victims through the digitization of data from Yad Vashem’s vast repositories, the Names Database has added 1.3 million names in the past eight years, and now includes information about 4.1 million Holocaust victims. Keeping apace with rapid technological development, Yad Vashem continues to disseminate its extensive resources worldwide. Click here to read an article about the new interface.