Yad Vashem, a 45-acre memorial to the Holocaust located outside of Jerusalem, is Israel's tribute to the millions who perished in the Shoah or Holocaust. Established in 1953 by an act of the Israeli Knesset, this memorial has become the leading repository in the world for Holocaust information: including films, over 100,000 photographs, documents (over 55 million pages), books and over 82,000 articles.
The electronic site is an admirable addition to Yad Vashem. Through the Web site, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust--from those responsible for the destruction to the "Righteous Among the Nations" who risked their lives to save individuals condemned by the Third Reich. Although much information has been made available on the electronic version of Yad Vashem, some items such as the library catalog are not available via the Web site. Assistance is offered for help in locating information not yet available on-line.
One of the most moving segments of this site is the on-line exhibit. "Auschwitz Album," "Visas for Life," and "Under this Blazing Light" are among the exhibits available for viewing. The reviewer was captivated by the "No Child's Play" exhibit. The personal anecdotes along with the vivid pictures of artifacts (dolls, games, a teddy bear) bring to life the absolute horror encountered by children during the Shoah.
One of the many features of this outstanding site is "About the Holocaust." This section features information about various aspects of the Holocaust including a chronology of the Holocaust, FAQs, documents of the Holocaust (over 200 on the destruction of Jews in Europe) and a recommended bibliography. The amount of information is staggering, yet it is presented in a straightforward, accessible manner so anyone from a novice student to a researcher will be able to locate information. Although the information is emotional, the Web site does not preach about the racism and unjustness of the Holocaust. In eloquent language, one is exposed to the various elements of life during this period--the ghetto, the train car and the arrival at a camp.
Also available on the Web site are selections from Yad Vashem's historical and art museums, memorials, monuments, and research and educational opportunities. Information is updated to reflect upcoming conferences and book publications. This is a first-rate site for information on the Shoah from both an academic and personal viewpoint.
Indiana State University