The 1,700,000 missing names

January 28, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem says  that German efficiency during WWII in documenting those who perished at the hands of the Nazis is a misnomer…almost 2 million victims remain unnamed.

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the world’s hub of data and information relating to the genocide of the Jews has said “we will not rest” until they identify those who have no-one to remember them.

A statement from Yad Vashem:

For years people assumed that the Nazis kept meticulous lists of all the Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

But the reality is that few names of individuals were documented, and many people were simply killed with no one to record that they had once lived.

For the past 6 decades, Yad Vashem has been working to bring their names back from oblivion.  Combining information submitted by Holocaust survivors, next generation descendants or relatives of Holocaust victims with data gleaned from archives scattered across the globe, Yad Vashem, which literally means “a memorial and a name” has been able to recover the names and identities of 4.3 million of the 6 million victims.

It is a colossal effort that continues around the clock and around the world: volunteers meet with survivors to help them fill in Pages of Testimony in memory of their loved ones; volunteers and staff gather names from memorials and cemeteries; archivists and language experts pore over documents in a dozen languages to seek out the names; and digitization experts ensure that all the material is accessible.  The names are kept in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem, are accessible online in the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names on Yad Vashem’s website, and are recorded in the Book of Names unveiled by Yad Vashem in Auschwitz – Birkenau this summer.

A spokesperson for Yad Vashem told J-Wire: “We know the approximate number of Jews who were murdered in the Shoah, estimated at 6 million, from census lists from before and after the Holocaust, from German documents and other sources.

What we were/are missing is the individual names of the victims.  Think of Babi Yar, where 33,771 Jews were murdered within a couple of days.  The numbers is known and has been well documented; what we are trying to do is recover the names of the individual victims.  Who were those 33,771 people?   This type of murder took place in numerous places in Eastern Europe and the areas of the former Soviet Union, which is where we are missing many of the names.”


2 Responses to “The 1,700,000 missing names”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Not that I’m anyone of consequence, but I do commend the faithfulness of those within Yad Vashem for seeking validation for those who have passed this way whose names have been lost.
    Each one written in the Book of Life born at a specific point in time, murdered by a regime who had cowards bending the knee for power and expediency ignoring the values of the New Testament which they profess to uphold, even today.
    I do hope someone runs with the above response.

  2. how can i add names of my family that has been murdered in Oswiencim -Auschwitz and in Plaszow Poland. My Mother never revived any compensation for hard leber in German camps. All of my family parishes in concentration cams she was the only sevaver. She has passed away now but i,m the only douther and my family inducing me safer under polish communist regime. If she would revived any compensation than it would be inherited by me now. I’m under enormous financial pressure rite now as my husband is safe-ring from colon cancer and i’m not longer working, just looking afer him, so any money would be very welcome by us.
    Thank you Joanna

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