Marking Holocaust Remembrance Day of 2008, 63 years after the end of WW2, Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, uploaded some 130,000 of its photo archives to yadvashem.org. The photographs come from a variety of sources, including official archives, private collections, museums and various historic collections. The images include photographs taken in the ghettos, during the deportations, images that illustrate slave labor, the camps, liberation and more. These photographs represent an invaluable asset to historians, educators, writers, filmmakers and the public at large.
Users are able to search the database by topic, name or location. Photographs in the database are also linked to existing information about its content, and when you click on an image, a Google Maps will automatically open, showing the location of the places mentioned in the caption. Other links enable expanded searches.
“Over the last few years, Yad Vashem has invested significantly in the computerization of its various collections…This will allow the public at large direct and simple access to the vast collection of resources collected by Yad Vashem over the past half century. We are hoping that it will increase public awareness of the archives’ tremendous importance, and encourage people who have similar photographs and documents to confer them to Yad Vashem for safekeeping.”Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem.
The digital photo archive is available at: http://www6.yadvashem.org/wps/portal/photo?lang=en
In addition, Yad Vashem has launched two YouTube channels. The channels are in English and Arabic. The English channel contains testimonies from Holocaust survivors, including archival footage, historians’ lectures on key issues related to the Holocaust, footage from visits to Yad Vashem, including those of President George W. Bush in January 2008, and Pope John Paul II in March 2000, as well as human interest stories, such as family reunions. The Arabic channel has testimonies and archival footage about the Holocaust, with Arabic subtitles.
The channels are dynamic, and new videos will be added frequently. Channels in additional languages will be added soon.
YouTube, which is one of the most popular websites in the internet, recives great traffic from the U.S., Europe & arabic speaking countries as well. “Unfortunately, there is a plethora of misinformation and deliberate lies available on the Internet. The Yad Vashem channel will counter this material, and make reliable information widely available to anyone who seeks to know more about this terrible chapter in human history,” said Avner Shalev. “By meeting the survivors through their testimonies, and viewing the foremost experts in the field address difficult questions, viewers will be able to connect on yet another level to this pivotal, and defining event.”