Yad Vashem (illustrative)
Yad Vashem (illustrative) Kobi Finkler

Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center uncovered over 200,000 new names of Hungarian Holocaust victims, bringing the number of Hungarian victims identified to 80%.

According to Yad Vashem Archives Director Dr. Haim Gertner and Holocaust Documentation Chair Fred Hillman, the project was coordinated by Yad Vashem and supported by two teams abroad: one in Hungary and one in Transylvania. Hungary's privacy laws changed at the project's outset, allowing full access to relevant information throughout Hungary.

The project, however, uncovered more than a list of names. During the project, Yad Vashem copied 2,463,000 pages of documentation and cataloged almost 170,000 files, expanding its current archives with a plethora of information about the Jewish communities that once existed and thrived in Hungary.

"Some 600,000 Jews from Greater Hungary were murdered during the Holocaust," Dr. Alexander Avram, Yad Vashem's Director of the Hall of Names and the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names explained. "This number represents approximately one out of every ten victims of the Holocaust and one in every three victims of the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the overwhelming majority of deported Hungarian Jews were sent."

"Approximately ten years ago, Yad Vashem embarked on a critical project to map, copy, catalog and record the names and personal data of Hungarian Holocaust victims. The project of systematically collecting the names of Hungarian victims of the Shoah began in 2007.

"At the outset of the project, only some 260,000 names were known (representing less than 40% of the total victims from Hungary); after years of intensive work and research, most of the names of the Hungarian Jewish victims – close to 500,000 names (80% of the total number of victims) have been accounted for.

"Furthermore, the project has uncovered much more than just the names of the Hungarian victims, it has revealed part of their individual stories, and in some cases, for the first time was able to connect a rare photograph with the name of the faceless murdered."

Yad Vashem's archives house the most comprehensive collection of Holocaust-era documentation in the world, which includes some 201 million pages of documentation.

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