Display of books in Yad Vashem 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
UNESCO, the United Nations’ organ which aims to promote international cooperation in the field of science and culture, announced that it has included Yad Vashem’s database of the names and stories of those who have perished in the Holocaust as part of its Memory of the World Register.
This marks the first time that UNESCO has included an Israeli archival collection in its register.
The Pages of Testimony database, which is part of a years-long endeavor by Israel’s official Holocaust memorial to collect the stories and testimonies of the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered in Europe, has grown to 2.6 million names. So far, Yad Vashem has been able to compile the names and identities of 4.2 million victims.
“For many Holocaust survivors and their families, Pages of Testimony are the only tangible evidence that their murdered loved ones once lived,” said Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev. “The Nazis and their collaborators strove to murder each and every Jewish man, woman and child and to erase any vestige of their existence. These pages, together with information gathered from around the world as part of our names recovery efforts, restore to them their names – their identities.”
“We will continue our efforts to bring the names and identities of the victims back from oblivion as long as we are able to do so,” he said. “I urge anyone who has not yet submitted Pages of Testimony to do so now.”