Shalom, As we enter into the season of the Jewish High Holidays we would like to renew our call to action for continued worldwide efforts to recover and commemorate the names of each individual Shoah victim and help ensure that they will always be remembered.
Bittersweet Joy: Survivor Siblings Discovered Through Search for Family Roots
The last time 87-year-old Wolf Hall saw his 90-year-old older sister Esther Bielski (née Hauszpeigel) was in 1940 in the Lodz ghetto. In 1980, believing he had no surviving family, Wolf submitted a Page of Testimony to Yad Vashem commemorating his relatives killed during the Holocaust, including Esther. But Esther had in fact survived; she had married Aaron Bielski in Radom, given birth to a daughter in Germany and immigrated to Israel, where she lives today. Rachel’s recent search for information about her family roots led to the discovery of the Page of Testimony and to an emotional union with her uncle Wolf Hall. Click here to read the full story. Send us your stories of discovery.
Central Florida Names Project Coordinator Receives Outstanding Achievement Award
The Florida Association of Museums (FAM) has chosen Urszula Szczepinska, Curator of Education and Director of Research at the Florida Holocaust Museum (FHM), to receive the 2011 FAM Outstanding Achievement Award for her tireless efforts on behalf of Yad Vashem's Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project. As the head of the project at the FHM, Urszula used her professional expertise in the field of Holocaust studies and research to help Holocaust survivors commemorate their loved ones who perished in the Shoah. Through the process of extensive interviews and historical research Urszula has helped survivors prepare close to two hundred Pages of Testimony so far and collected a significant number of photographs ensuring as many individuals as possible have been identified in them.
New Film “In Search of Lost Memories”
A movie recently released to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Barbarossa provides a behind-the-scenes look at Yad Vashem's Shoah Victim’s Names Recovery Project in the Former Soviet Union. "In Search of Lost Memories" follows the efforts of project staff as they seek to commemorate the name of each individual murdered in these areas during the Holocaust – a goal hampered for decades due to the rupture in relations between the Soviet Union and Israel. The 33-minute film includes moving footage of visits to remote villages, where volunteers conduct interviews with eyewitnesses in a last-minute attempt to collect information and names that would otherwise have been lost forever. Directed by Boris Maftsir, In Search of Lost Memories is in Russian and Hebrew with English subtitles. To order a DVD copy, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Concert: "Kaddish - I am Here" Performed at Yad Vashem
Earlier this month (September 2011) a unique concert featuring the stirring words of Holocaust survivors, performed by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra - IBA, soloists and choirs from Israel and the United States, and conducted by Gil Shohat took place at Yad Vashem. The concert took place in the presence of Holocaust survivors and their families, and official State guests, including members of the Diplomatic Corps. It was the Israeli premiere of the piece. Created by composer Dr. Lawrence Siegel and named for the Jewish prayer for the dead, “Kaddish - I am Here" conveys the stories of Holocaust survivors in their own words, in their own languages, providing a window into their experiences. To read more about the concert and the performers, click here. To view the concert, click here.
Marking the New Year - From Our Collections
View a sample of testimonies, artifacts, photos, greeting cards and prayer books from Yad Vashem’s archival collections, to learn about how Jews marked the High Holidays before, during and immediately after the Holocaust.