Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial site, is marking international Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th with a new display titled “Gathering the Fragments – Behind the Scenes of the Campaign to Rescue Personal Items from the Holocaust” meant to show the process of collection, research, registration and digitization performed in the framework of the nationwide project to rescue personal Holocaust-related items.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said in a statement: “Thus far, some 71,000 items have been donated to Yad Vashem, during the campaign, of which only a few are displayed in the exhibition. Through these examples, we have tried to bring to light items whose stories both explain the individual story and provide testimony to join the array of personal accounts that make up the narrative of the Holocaust.”
Exhibition Curator Michael Tal further explained: “The majority of items donated to Yad Vashem during the campaign have come via second- or third-generation descendants of the survivors and others who possess items from their families in Europe. Therefore, most of the information we receive about the items is, at best, only partial. The exhibition therefore showcases the research work carried out at Yad Vashem in order to reconstruct the full story behind each item.”
Yad vashem launched the “Gathering the Fragments” campaign in 2011 in partnership with the National Heritage Program at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Senior Citizens.