21 January 2013
Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a new display will open on Sunday January 27, 2013 in the lobby of the Library and Archives Building at Yad Vashem. "Gathering the Fragments – Behind the Scenes of the Campaign to Rescue Personal Items from the Holocaust" will display the process of collection, research, registration and digitization performed in the framework of the nationwide project to rescue personal Holocaust-related items. The opening event will be attended by Holocaust survivors whose personal items are displayed in the exhibition.
Media who are interested in attending the opening should RSVP to 02 644 3410 and arrive at Yad Vashem at 12:30.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said, "Since the 'Gathering the Fragments' campaign began, about two years ago, thousands of Israelis have decided to part from personal items close to their hearts, and through them share the memory of their dear ones who were murdered in the Holocaust. Thus far, some 71,000 items have been donated to Yad Vashem, during the campaign, of which only a few are displayed in the exhibition. Through these examples, we have tried to bring to light items whose stories both explain the individual story and provide testimony to join the array of personal accounts that make up the narrative of the Holocaust."
Exhibition Curator Michael Tal explained, “The majority of items donated to Yad Vashem during the campaign have come via second- or third-generation descendants of the survivors and others who possess items from their families in Europe. Therefore, most of the information we receive about the items is, at best, only partial. The exhibition therefore showcases the research work carried out at Yad Vashem in order to reconstruct the full story behind each item. We are committed to learning as much as possible about everything that comes to us, and to sharing new insights with the greater public."
Yad Vashem, in cooperation with the National Heritage Program at the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Senior Citizens, launched the "Gathering the Fragments" campaign in 2011. Since then, a great variety of documents, certificates, diaries, photographs, artifacts and artworks from the Holocaust era that were in the homes of private individuals in Israel have been given to Yad Vashem for safekeeping. This is an 11th-hour rescue campaign to collect both the items as well as their stories, so that they will preserved forever.
Also marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem has a number of traveling exhibitions on display around the world, and Yad Vashem historians, researchers and educators are participating in events across Europe, and in Israel, the United States, Myanmar, Vietnam, Canada, and Venezuela.