Holocaust Remembrance Day 2009

Marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem (the Holocaust martyrs’ and heroes’ remembrance authority in Israel) uploaded new material to their website.

A special new mini-site, including online exhibits, photos, video clips and educational material explore this year’s theme, Children in the Holocaust.

Approximately one and a half million of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust were children. Some children were able to escape by hiding while other children survived by concealing their identities. Liberation did not end the suffering as most had no home to return to, no family to take them in. Special children’s homes were set up immediately after the war, to meet the tremendous physical and emotional needs of the children who survived the Holocaust. One of these homes was in Otwock, Poland. A new online exhibition “A Time to Heal“, The Story of the Children’s Home in Otwock, Poland, focuses on the children’s experiences from their arrival at the home in Otwock, through the difficult and often painful process of healing and rehabilitation.

The educational material uploaded includes age-appropriate lesson plans for grades K-12, ceremony suggestions, documents, interviews and films as well as other related teaching materials.

With more than 8.1 million visits during 2008, a more than twofold increase since 2005, www.yadvashem.org reached out to visitors from 220 countries and territories – including the United States, Israel, Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada, Egypt, Thailand and even Barbados. Last year, Yad Vashem’s “Virtual School” of the International School for Holocaust Studies offered educational materials in 19 different languages to more than 1.2 million visitors who came for online courses, lesson plans, video conferences, community forums, interactive maps, ceremonies, educational units and more.

In addition, Yad Vashem’s four YouTube channels, in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish have been visited by more than 1.3 million people.

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