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Gathering the Fragments

Yad Vashem Launches National Campaign to Rescue Personal Items from the Holocaust Period

26 April 2011

Special collection point at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day May 2

Yad Vashem, in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office National Heritage Project, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Pensioner Affairs, has embarked on a new campaign: “Gathering the Fragments: A national campaign to rescue personal items from the Holocaust period.” The campaign seeks to gather documents, diaries, photos, artifacts and works of art from the Holocaust years that are currently held privately by people in Israel. This rescue operation is a race against the clock, an effort to collect the artifacts and the documents along with the story behind them to ensure their eternal conservation by bringing them to Yad Vashem for safekeeping.

"Personal stories, told through items such as letters and postcards, artwork, diaries, toys and more add a critical dimension to Holocaust commemoration and education," said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "A great deal of our activities today at Yad Vashem, including education and research, rests on this documentation. That is why we are urging people who may have Holocaust related material in their possession to bring them to Yad Vashem, where they will be preserved for generations to come."

Director of the Archives Dr. Haim Gertner added, “We know that many Holocaust survivors and their families have personal documentation in their homes that is not known or accessible to the public at large. Many of those who have this material are unaware of its great importance and the need for its professional preservation. At Yad Vashem it will be well cared for and easily reached by historians, researchers and anyone else interested in its unique story.”

In the course of the campaign, Yad Vashem is calling on anyone who has original documentation and artifacts from the pre-war, Holocaust and immediate post-war period to submit them to Yad Vashem for safekeeping. Here they will be added to the Yad Vashem collection, conserved, cataloged and digitized for easy universal access.

A call center [1-800-25-7777] has been established for anyone who would like to donate material. A special collection point will be held at Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 2, 2011, between 11:00-16:00.