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January 23, 2023 1:18 pm
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Exhibit Listing Millions of Holocaust Victims to Go on Display at UN Headquarters

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Book of Names on display in the United Nations. Photo: Provided

Jerusalem’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, and Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations will unveil a new installation at the United Nations headquarters in New York City this month that commemorates the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust.

The Book of Names of Holocaust Victims, developed by Yad Vashem, features the alphabetically arranged names of 4,800,000 Holocaust victims that have been recorded along with their birthdates, hometowns, and circumstances and places of death if that information is known. The names in the exhibit are sourced from Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names and the center’s Pages of Testimony collection, as well as other lists compiled during and following the Holocaust that have been gathered and reviewed by Yad Vashem experts over the years.

“A strip of light runs the length of the inside of The Book of Names, illuminating the memory of the Jewish men, women children murdered during the Holocaust for all to remember,” Yad Vashem said in a press release about the new installation. “At the end of the Book of Names there are blank pages symbolizing more than one million identities yet recovered from the nameless murdered.”

The exhibition is being installed at the UN headquarters on Jan. 26, one day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan and Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN Gilad Erdan will attend the exhibit’s unveiling ceremony, which will also be broadcast live online.

Erdan — whose grandmother and her seven children were murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp — said exhibitions like The Book of Names “are weapons in the fight against the twisted phenomenon of Holocaust denial and distortion as they turn the 6 million victims from a mere number to individuals – individuals who had names, lives, and families.”

Alongside the installation will be a video clip about the importance of remembering the names of Holocaust victims and efforts of the Names Recovery Project, which is Yad Vashem’s initiative to uncover information about Holocaust victims who remain unidentified. There will also be an explanatory panel with detailed facts about the Holocaust.

“This important exhibition is a call to remembrance: to remember each child, woman and man who perished in the Holocaust as a human being with a name and a future that was stolen away,” said United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres. “And it is a call to action: to always be vigilant and never stay silent when human rights and human dignity are under threat.”

The Book of Names will be on display at the UN headquarters through Feb. 17. It will afterwards be permanently included at Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem and will open to public ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is April 17-18. An earlier installation of the Book of Names is on permanent display at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland.

See a preview of The Book of Names in the video below.

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