22 April 2006
Yad Vashem opened a countrywide campaign to videotape Holocaust survivors’ testimony in the survivors’ homes.
“Recently, more and more survivors find it difficult to get to the Yad Vashem studios, and in an effort to make it easier for survivors to give testimony, we must now go to their homes, and enable them to give their testimony in the most comfortable conditions,” said Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. “The testimony of the survivors who personally experienced that horrors of the Shoah, are the legacy that they impart to us. Their testimony has crucial educational and moral importance. It allows us to have meaningful Holocaust remembrance for generations to come, and represents an essential vehicle for imparting the memory of the Shoah,” he added.
Yad Vashem has been collecting survivor testimonies since the 1950s, and in 1989 began collecting video testimony, a project that continues today. Thus far, the testimonies have been collected via special studios that Yad Vashem established throughout the country, and in cooperation with other organizations in Israel such as “Ginzach Kiddush Hashem”, “Yad LeZahava” and others. Yad Vashem’s Archives currently houses some 44,000 video, audio and written testimonies. Some 8,500 testimonies gathered by the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (established by Steven Spielberg) in Israel between 1995-2001 will be available through Yad Vashem’s Visual Center, along with tens of thousands of testimonies the Foundation collected around the world.
Thanks to advanced digital and preservation technology the survivors’ testimony will be preserved forever in Yad Vashem’s Archives and accessible in the new Visual Center.
“We urge Holocaust survivors and members of the next generations to contact us at 02 6443752, to schedule a convenient time when one of the members of the Oral History Section can come to the survivor’s homes,” said Malka Tor, head of the Oral History Section, Archives Division, Yad Vashem.