“I should like someone to remember that there once lived a person named David Berger."
David wrote these words in his last letter, sent from Vilna in 1941. Today, 80 years after the 19-year-old was murdered during the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is fulfilling the last wishes of David and many other Holocaust victims through its IRemember Wall project. This unique online commemorative initiative allows the public to identify with the names and stories of some of the six million Jewish men, women and children whose lives were brutally cut short by the Nazi Germans and their collaborators during the Holocaust.
To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021, Yad Vashem will once again launch the Wall, which is now available in six languages — English, Hebrew, French, Spanish, German and Russian. Each participant who joins the event will be randomly linked to one of the individuals recorded in Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, which today includes more than 4,800,000 names. Their names will then appear together on the IRemember Wall. Participants can also choose additional Holocaust victims from the Names Database to commemorate on the Wall. Those who join are encouraged to share the stories on their social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest. The IRemember Wall will go live on 24 January 2021.
Each year the wall is reset, but the impact of being matched with a Holocaust victim last for a lifetime. Last year the IRemember Wall campaign reached over 5 million individuals and more than 85,000 people who joined the wall from over 175 countries around the world. Many of the participants submitted their impressions of this unique commemorative event. Here is an assortment of the feedback Yad Vashem received.
"It is very important to remember that there is a life, a family, a story behind each and every person who perished." Andrew John Peers, Wigan, UK
"Holocaust Remembrance Day is so important, so that we never forget the millions of Jewish lives that were lost during the Holocaust. It also serves as a reminder of how antisemitism, xenophobia and hatred can create the preconditions for genocide. By creating the IRemember Wall, we give a name to the victims of the Holocaust rather than a number. It teaches us (and my students) that every victim had a story, a family and a life. It also teaches us and allows us to reflect on ideologies of discrimination and hate, and the actions that can lead to genocide." Anna Pearson, North Bay
"I treasure the important work of Yad Vashem in honouring my family and other souls affected by the Shoah." Anna Sanderson, Westbury, Wiltshire, UK
"I feel committed to do what I can to educate others about the Holocaust, to ensure it is not forgotten." Diane Whitton, Junee, NSW, Australia
"Since attending classes at Yad Vashem's seminar for Christian Clergy in September of 2019, I have tried to be involved in as many activities as I can to further my own knowledge and to help teach others. My time there affected me deeply, and I want to honor those lives senselessly lost." Elizabeth J Hudson, Humberston, UK
"We see hatred and bigotry on the rise all over the world. We cannot stand silent and pass injustice off as someone else's problem. Because hatred, racism and antisemitism eats away at the moral fabric of our society until there is nothing that left to prevent another Holocaust. We have to stand up and be heard – for ourselves, for our children, and for humanity. This IRemember Wall project gives me the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with individuals around the world untied to remembering one person at a time. Every person can make a difference." Elliot Martin, New York, NY
"In remembrance of my great-aunt, who perished in the Holocaust." Julie Gottlieb, Cincinnati
"Holocaust remembrance is very Important today, because so many people try to minimize what Happened again and a lot of people don't know that much about it anymore. I really like the project, because it's a commemorative activity that is meaningful but also easy to participate in." Lea Busch, Ahaus, NRW, Germany
Please join Yad Vashem's IRemember Wall again this year, and help keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and relevant one name at a time.