Genealogy Researchers Can Now Tap into Yad Vashem’s Collection of Pages of Testimony
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and its affiliate JewishGen have announced a new partnership with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, whereby researchers will be able to access Yad Vashem’s Pages of Testimony data as part of a genealogical search on the JewishGen website – the largest online Jewish genealogy resource of its kind, which includes a Holocaust collection of nearly 3.8 million records.
“By making available these precious records via JewishGen, the broader Jewish community can more easily research names of family and friends who were murdered during the Holocaust,” says Museum of Jewish Heritage President and CEO Jack Kliger. “The agreement facilitates access to the resources of our Museum and Yad Vashem, two of the most prestigious Holocaust memorial institutions in the world.”
“Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names brings the millions of faceless victims into the light and returns to them their identity, so the world can remember,” states Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan. “This is part of Yad Vashem’s mission to gather all forms of documentation from the Holocaust, including the collection of names of our brethren who were murdered during the Shoah. We owe it to them to know that they lived, what they looked like, what they dreamed about and at the very least – what their name was.”
Since the 1950s, Yad Vashem has collected “Pages of Testimony,” in which members of the public memorialize family members and friends who were murdered during the Holocaust. In many cases, these Pages – that comprise the names, biographical details and if possible, photographs – might contain the only evidence of what happened to their loved ones. Dr. Alexander Avram, Director of Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names, observes: “More than one million Holocaust victims have yet to be memorialized at Yad Vashem. It is our expectation that by widening the exposure of our endeavor through JewishGen, the genealogical community will be able to play an important role in helping us add a large number of Pages of Testimony in the years to come.”
“Researchers will now be able to retrieve Pages of Testimony data through a direct search within JewishGen,” notes JewishGen Executive Director Avraham Groll. “This common access to data from both institutions will directly benefit researchers by increasing the likelihood that they will find useful information. Without this new agreement, many Jewish genealogists may otherwise not have been aware of this vital resource.”
Yad Vashem has been running their Names Collection endeavor for over six decades, with the aim of restoring the personal identities and recording the brief life stories of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices. The names documented in Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names are sourced from many different sources, including Pages of Testimony. To date Yad Vashem has gathered some 2,700,000 Pages of Testimony. The Names Database currently commemorates over 4,800,000 Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust.
The records can be freely accessed via the JewishGen Holocaust database (https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/holocaust/).JewishGen was founded in 1987 and serves as the global home for Jewish genealogy. Featuring unparalleled access to more than 30 million records, it offers unique search tools, along with opportunities for researchers to connect with others who share similar interests. There is no charge to access JewishGen’s resources.
JewishGen is an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, NYC.