23 April 2006
On Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day (Tuesday, April 25, 2006), the Russian interface of Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names will be uploaded to the Internet.
“Yad Vashem regards the completion of the Names Database as vitally important, and the estimation is that many of the close to three million missing names belong to Jews from the territories of the Former Soviet Union,” said Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. “To raise awareness of its commemorative enterprise, and to encourage names collection from the Russian-speaking community, Yad Vashem experts have spent the past year translating the Names Database into Russian.”
Since the Names Database was uploaded in Hebrew and English to the Yad Vashem website, www.yadvashem.org, in November 2004, more than 8 million visitors from 215 countries have visited the site. Just a small percentage of these visitors came from FSU countries, despite the fact that these areas contain a high proportion of Holocaust survivors and their descendents.
Yad Vashem is determined to raise the necessary funds to prepare versions in other languages.
The project to translate the Names Database into Russian was made possible due to the generous support of the Nadav Foundation (Israel). The Nadav Fund was founded by Leonid Nevzlin, Michael Brudno and Vladimir Dubov, with the aim of promoting projects which intensify the ties between the State of Israel and the Jewish people in the Diaspora, strengthen Jewish identity and deepen Jewish education of the young generation of the Jewish people, as well as projects involving academic research in the field of Russian and Eastern European Jewry.
The project’s purpose is to make the Database accessible to Jewish communities in countries of the FSU as well as to the Russian-speaking populations in Israel and other states, allowing them to add names of Jews murdered in the Holocaust by filling out Pages of Testimony online. These are the same Pages of Testimony Yad Vashem has been collecting since the 1950s, on which friends and relatives fill out the names and biographical details of the victims.
A number of media outlets have generously joined the effort to raise awareness of the uploading of the Database’s Russian interface to the Internet: Channel 9, Media Most - the representative of the international Russian-language TV channel RTVI, and the www.newsru.co.il website.
In parallel with the uploading of the Russian interface, Yad Vashem has initiated a project to collect Holocaust victims’ names in cooperation with local Jewish and Israeli organizations in the FSU and in Israel. This project was made possible through the generous support of Dana and Yossie Hollander.
In addition to English, Hebrew and Russian, the Names Database is available in German at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, and is there visited by more than a thousand people a day.