U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to Identify Displaced WWII Children
“Remember Me” campaign asks public to help identify photos of 1,100 child survivors and shed light on fates of Nazism’s youngest victims
Washington, D.C., March 30, 2011, /Photography News/ The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is asking for the public’s help in identifying 1,100 of the tens of thousands of children who found themselves alone and scattered across Europe at the end of World War II, the victims of war and Nazi racial policies. Visitors to the Museum’s “Remember Me” Web site, www.ushmm.org/rememberme, will encounter the faces of the youngest victims of Nazism and can help in the effort to learn who they are, what happened to them and help to reconnect them with each other and their families.
The images come from collections from the Museum, the American Jewish Archives and the Museum of Jewish Heritage. They are of Jewish and non-Jewish children whose lives were uprooted during World War II and the Holocaust. They were taken by relief agencies in the immediate post-war period in displaced persons camps, children’s homes and elsewhere.
“The numbers of even the youngest of the survivors and eyewitnesses of the Nazi era are dwindling, making it crucial to capture their testimonies as soon as possible,” says Dr. Lisa Yavnai, Director of the Museum’s Survivors and Victims Resource Center. “By doing so we will record and memorialize these experiences for future generations.”
The Museum hopes to enlist the aid of individuals, families and communities in this effort. The “Remember Me” Web site contains a gallery of 1,100 images that users can access and instructions on how to submit information on an individual to the Museum. In addition to the “Remember Me” Web site, the Museum plans to publish many of the images in newspapers and online forums around the country to help enlist the public’s participation in this urgent undertaking.
“Even people not directly affected by this history can make a difference by spreading word of the search,” continues Yavnai. “And just taking the opportunity to learn about what happened to this small group of children and, by extension, the millions of others affected by World War II and the Holocaust, is an act of bearing witness to the victims of Nazi tyranny.”
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.