While Philadelphia Eagles football player DeSean Jackson waits until it becomes safe to travel and visit Holocaust memorial sites and museums, we extend him, and the general public, an invitation to explore the online content about the Holocaust presented by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. With Coronavirus pandemic restrictions and travel bans, people across the globe are turning more and more to the digital world to ensure the memory of the Holocaust is never forgotten and to enhance their understanding of this watershed event in human history.
Beginning many years before the pandemic, Yad Vashem has continually been uploading a rich and diverse body of fact-based content to its multilingual websites and social media platforms. This is part of an ongoing effort to engage and enrich the public with knowledge about the Holocaust and provide a meaningful, timely and historically accurate experience to millions of visitors annually. Yad Vashem offers online lectures, interactive commemorative opportunities, thematic exhibitions and access to large parts of its extensive databases about the Holocaust for the public-at-large in multiple languages.
In 2017, Yad Vashem launched an in-depth mass open online course (MOOC) entitled Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present. Over the past years, tens of thousands of people from around the world have registered for the MOOC. Yad Vashem continues to explore new and innovative ways of reaching the global audience in learning about the history of the Holocaust and antisemitism.
Recently, Yad Vashem uploaded the "Witnesses and Education" project, a series of Holocaust survivor testimony films, in which survivors recount their life stories at the locations in which the events transpired. The viewers hear and view this meaningful compendium of testimony presented alongside the backdrop of the wider historical context.
Many Holocaust memorial sites and museums around the world, including the Holocaust History Museum on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, have been closed since the middle of March due to the current global health crisis. Nevertheless, Yad Vashem is continuing to pursue its main tasks of commemoration, education, research and documentation about the Holocaust, for which outreach and interactive engagement through the Internet and social media have become more important than ever. "Despite these unique circumstances, our mission remains the same," says Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. "Perhaps now more than ever, Holocaust remembrance and education is particularly relevant. Antisemitism, hatred and xenophobia plague the very essence of a moral and just society. The Holocaust is a lesson to all of what can happen when extreme racism goes unchecked. We must continue to fight bigotry and hatred in all their manifestations wherever they rear their ugly heads."