I’d like to make this personal plea to the Jewish community:
Many of us had relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, and if they were closely related to our parents or grandparents, it’s likely that we always knew the victims’ names and something about them. But our parents and grandparents did not always know the names or fates of their more distant relatives — their second or third cousins, for example. Some of us, through our genealogical searches, have managed to find information about these relatives that our elders never knew.
This is important, because, as most of us know, Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum and Memorial, has been collecting Pages of Testimony about the victims for decades (since 1955), and currently, according to its own website, has about 2.5 million of them. This means that there are several million victims who are still uncommemorated. Some of us who know that our parents or grandparents wrote Pages of Testimony for relatives may not realize that they probably wrote these Pages for their closest relatives only, and not for the more distant ones they didn’t know well or have information about.
I believe that any of us who have found solid information about a Holocaust victim, especially someone only distantly related to us or perhaps not related at all, should check Yad Vashem’s website to see if there is a Page of Testimony for him or her. And if there is not, to write one. We may be rescuing an entire family from fading into oblivion.
This Holocaust Remembrance Day, I urge you to check your research notes on any Holocaust victims, and then check Yad Vashem’s website, and, if necessary, make the effort to write a Page of Testimony for an otherwise unremembered person. It’s the least any of us can do.
The Yad Vashem Central Database of Holocaust Victims’ Names is on:
Guest Blogger – Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,Raanana,Israel.