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UNESCO to Honor Yad Vashem in Advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Presentation Marks the Inclusion of the Pages of Testimony Memorial Collection in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register

23 January 2014

On Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 10:00 in the Hall of Names Yad Vashem will be presented a Certificate of Recognition by UNESCO marking the inclusion of the Pages of Testimony Memorial Collection in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Taking place in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the presentation will begin in the Hall of Names on the Mount of Remembrance during which Dr. Dalit Atrakchi, Secretary General of the Israeli Commission for UNESCO will present Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Dr. Alexander Avram, Director of the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem with the Certificate of Recognition. Addresses in the Yad Vashem Synagogue will be made following the presentation of the certificate.

Media who are interested in covering the presentation should RSVP to the Media Relations Department: 02 644 3410, estee.yaari@yadvashem.org.il

"For many Holocaust survivors and their families, Pages of Testimony are the only tangible evidence that their murdered loved ones once lived," said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem. "The Nazis and their collaborators strove to murder each and every Jewish man, woman and child and to erase any vestige of their existence. These pages, together with information gathered from around the world as part of our names recovery efforts, restore to them their names - their identities. We will continue our efforts to bring the names and identities of the victims back from oblivion as long as we are able to do so. I urge anyone who has not yet submitted Pages of Testimony to do so now."

Pages of Testimony are specially designed forms filled out in memory of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, which literally means ‘a memorial and a name’, has for the past 6 decades been working to recover the names and identities of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Since 1954, Yad Vashem has been collecting Pages of Testimony from Holocaust survivors and those who remember the victims, so far documenting 2.6 million names on Pages of Testimony. Together with other documentation Yad Vashem has thus far identified by name 4.3 million out of the 6 million victims. The Pages of Testimony Memorial Collection is housed in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem and has no precedent in history in both its dimensions and its intent to preserve the names as symbols of the victims' humanity.

Pages of Testimony are available in some 12 languages, and continue to be filled out by friends and family of the victims, as Yad Vashem continues the historic effort to record the names of the victims. The entire collection has been uploaded to the Yad Vashem website as part of the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names and is available in English, Hebrew, Russian, German and Spanish.

UNESCO's Memory of the World Program raises to a global level the awareness and the imperative of preservation of, and access to, unique and irreplaceable documentary heritage in various parts of the world. The Memory of the World Register, founded in 1995, includes so far only 299 items worldwide endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO.

To submit Pages of Testimony: names.outreach@yadvashem.org.il