4 Million Victims Identified

Yad Vashem has managed to identify two-thirds of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust; 1.5 million names added in past decade.

Maayana Miskin , | updated: 10:07 PM

Hall of Names in Yad Vashem
Hall of Names in Yad Vashem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial Project has succeeded in identifying four million of the estimated six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, Chairman Avner Shalev announced Tuesday. Of the four million names in the Names Database, 1.5 million, or 60 percent, were added in the past decade.

“The Germans sought not only to destroy the Jews, but [also] to obliterate any memory of them. One of Yad VaShem's central missions since its foundation, the recovery of each and every victim's name and personal story, has resulted in relentless efforts to restore the names and identities of as many of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices as possible,” Shalev said.

Yad VaShem has added new projects in the past 10 years aimed at recovering names. One such project is the Pages of Testimony – forms filled out in memory of the victims by people who knew them.

Forty-five percent of the names were gleaned from various archival sources and postwar commemorations.

The names of victims from Western Europe are likely to have been recorded, but in Eastern Europe fewer records were kept and most victim names remain unknown, said Director of the Hall of Names Alexander Avraham. Records were scarce in Greece as well, however, in the past 10 years, Yad VaShem has succeeded in doubling its database of names of Greek victims and now has names for an estimated 70 percent of its victims.

Yad VaShem has also added the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names onto its website. The database contains three million names, and is available in Hebrew, Russian and English.