07 June 2022
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, announced the creation of a new updated version of the memorial installation, the Book of Names. Yad Vashem will inaugurate this new version in January 2023 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in time for the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Ever since its inception, one of the fundamental goals of Yad Vashem has been to gather the names of each and every victim of the Holocaust. It is at the core of the name of the institution, taken from the biblical verse, ″And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a ΄Yad Vashem΄)... that shall not be cut off.″ [Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5].
In June 2013, Yad Vashem unveiled the first Book of Names, a tangible memorial to the individual identities of the Jewish men, women and children murdered during the Holocaust, which is housed at SHOAH, the permanent exhibition in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. At the time the Book, a unique installation, contained some 4,300,000 names and listed the names of the victims in alphabetical order, and where the information was known, included their birth dates, hometowns and places of death.
This new version of the Book of Names will include approximately 4,800,000 names of Shoah Victims that Yad Vashem has collected over the past seven decades and has made accessible to the public worldwide through the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names.
Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan said:
"The Book of Names serves as a living memorial to the millions of Holocaust victims, and provides the public with the ability to physically touch and connect with their identities and memory the Nazis tried to eradicate. Each victim of the Holocaust call out to us to remember them, who they were and the fact that they were murdered because they were Jews. We must continue to bear witness to our history and to those who endured the atrocities of the Holocaust."
The Book of Names will remain on display in the United Nations for several weeks before being moved to Israel, where it will be on permanent display at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The Book of Names will open to the public in time for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day in April 2023.