Now, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum is seeking to gather these mementos and more importantly, the stories behind them – before it's too late. Within the framework of a national project which commenced Friday, the museum is asking to collect any object, letter or painting and through them – give those who perished a name and face.
Cooperating with Yad Vashem on this very special project are the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of Pensioners' Affairs. "A big part of what we do in Yad Vashem is based on this kind of documentation," said Yad Vashem Director Avner Shalev.
"Personal stories told through objects, artwork, diaries and letters add a significant dimension to the Holocaust commemoration and education efforts. This is why we encourage people who own Holocuast related items to come forward and bring them to Yad Vashem to be kept for future generations."
"This move is part of the vow we made – 'Never Again'," said Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar. "The more we expand, document and educate, the more we can inure ourselves to the moral numbness which is responsible for manmade atrocity."
This is where the general public comes into the picture: Yad Vashem is asking that people open their drawers, retrieve forgotten items and turn private memories from the holocaust into a public commemoration.
Over the next few months, Yad Vashem's staff will document the stories behind each object, Holocaust survivors and casualties. The objects will be kept in Yad Vashem's collection and integrated into special exhibitions.
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