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Newsletter No. 22,  September  2013


Ahead 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 to ensure that they will always be remembered.

Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony Memorial Repository Now Part of UNESCO Memory of the World Register

The Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony Memorial Repository has been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. This is the first time that Israeli collections have been included in the registry. Pages of Testimony are specially designed forms filled out in memory of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem has for the past 6 decades, endeavored to recover the names and identities of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. It has been collecting Pages of Testimony from Holocaust survivors and those who remember the victims since 1954. Thus far, 2.6 million names have been documented on Pages of Testimony, which together with other documentation have allowed Yad Vashem to identify by name 4.2 million out of the 6 million victims. The Pages of Testimony Memorial Repository is housed in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem.

The New Permanent Exhibition in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum: "The Book of Names"

In June 2013 the new Permanent Exhibition SHOAH at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Block 27 curated by Yad Vashem opened. Included in the exhibition is the monumental "Book of Names" – 2 meters high and 14 meters in circumference – containing 4.2 million names of murdered Jews gathered over the past 60 years by Yad Vashem. The goal was to create an everlasting, permanent memorial to the murdered Jewish men, women and children – one that would encompass both their inconceivable numbers as well as their individual identities. The Exhibition's "Book of Names" does precisely that. Every name, birth date, home town and place of death is clearly printed on the meter-high pages, illuminated by a gentle strip of light that lies between each page. The blank pages of the book's final volume, await the names still to be redeemed, recorded and memorialized in perpetuity by Yad Vashem.

“It Feels Like a Miracle Rising From the Ashes”

Growing up in the United States, the Privens did not know much about their family history or the tragic fate of relatives from their father’s ancestral village of Pavoloch during the Holocaust. Driven to uncover their family roots, siblings Lew and Cheryl Priven embarked on a genealogical search that began with a trip to the Ukraine, followed by an important discovery of new information on Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, ultimately having an enormous impact on the Priven family through their newly discovered direct connection to the Holocaust. The discovery of previously unknown living relatives culminated in an emotional reunion of extended family in the US and Israel and a moving Bar Mitzvah ceremony "twinning" Jalen Schlosberg, Lew Priven’s grandson, with one of his unknown cousins, who was murdered during the Holocaust. Click here to read more.

TripAdvisor: Yad Vashem Fourth Top Museum Worldwide

Yad Vashem was recently ranked fourth in the top 25 museums in the world by TripAdvisor, the foremost travel website driven by reviews and comments of tourists and travelers. Visitors applauded the "moving and informative displays," the “incredible use of architecture, audio visual, photos, and actual items to recreate a time in history that should never happen again” calling it an "emotional, educational and inspiring experience" an “unbelievably moving experience” that is a "must-see" for any traveler to Israel. Some 1 million people visit Yad Vashem annually. Guided tours and audio guides are available in many languages (including English, Hebrew, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic).

Holocaust Survivor Receives Books from Family Home through Grandson of Nazi Officer

In July 2013 Holocaust survivor Moshe Hofstadter recently received four books that belonged to his father Avraham who was murdered in the Holocaust. The books were sent to Yad Vashem by Dr. Christoph Schlegel, an Austrian grandson of Nazi officer and Stadtkommissar Herbert Huller who in 1941 was stationed in Rzeszow, Poland. Thanks to the information on a Page of Testimony, Yad Vashem was able to put Moshe and Dr. Schlegel in touch and return the books to the Hofstadter family. Click here to read more.