22 October 2021
Four artifacts from the Holocaust belonging to Yad Vashem's world renowned Artifacts Collection have journeyed from Jerusalem to the United Kingdom on loan to the Imperial War Museum London. These historic items are now being displayed in a new exhibition, entitled "The Second World War and the Holocaust" that recently opened to the public.
Yad Vashem houses some 42,900 personal artifacts and items from the Holocaust era. These irreplaceable objects are everlasting witnesses to the atrocities of the Shoah, and the individual stories of the victims and the survivors. Through international partnerships and cooperation, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, serves as a central resource of historically accurate documentation and commemorative and educational efforts around the world.
"The exhibitions in the Museum Complex on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem displays many authentic artifacts, artworks and documents to help raise awareness of the events of this dark chapter in our not-so-distant past," remarked Director of the Yad Vashem Museums Division Vivian Uria. "But it is important that people all over the world have the opportunity to see and learn about these important narratives. That is why Yad Vashem cooperates with museums and institutions across the globe and loans these items out for the public to see and connect with the events of the Shoah. At a time when the Holocaust survivor generation is dwindling and Holocaust distortion and antisemitism is on the rise, we must ensure that the voice of the faceless and often nameless victims of the Holocaust are not left to the annals to the annals of history."
Of the items loaned to the Imperial War Museum, two belonged to children who were murdered during the Holocaust. One of these is a dress that was worn by a Jewish girl named Sidika. Together with her parents, Willi and Sally, Sidika was deported from Czernowitz to the Bershad ghetto in Transnistria. During her time in the ghetto, Sidika fell ill and, due to insufficient medical resources, died from pneumonia. Sidika's parents were determined to give her a respectful funeral. With the help of another ghetto inmate by the name of Schuster, they managed to dig a hole in the snow and bury their little girl in her own final resting place instead of being taken to a mass grave.
The dress, which originally belonged to Sidika's cousin Bella, was returned after the war when the two family branches were reunited in 1946. It was passed down from generation to generation until the family ultimately decided to donate it to Yad Vashem so that Sidika's story would continue to be told.
Also on loan from Yad Vashem is a pendant with two photographs found near Nyteshin, a small town in Ukraine. The pendant was donated by Maxim Khorb, and is one of several artifacts discovered in the location of the killing pit on the outskirts of Nyteshin together with train tickets bearing the name of the town of Ostrog. According to experts, many Jews from Ostrog were murdered there by the Nazis and local collaborators.