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The Missing Millions (Yad vaShem)
Experience of a 2nd generation group
There has been much publicity recently from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and educational centre in Jerusalem, encouraging people to register some of the estimated 3 million missing names of those who perished in the Holocaust.
I was in Israel in April this year, and braced myself to go to Yad Vashem for the first time. My excuse for going, having shied away from the experience on previous visits as being too close to the bone, was to find out if members of our family who had died in the camps had been registered. A huge project is currently under way to transfer all the microfilm records to computer, so visitors are warned that the search for their relativesí names might be a slow process. I was quite overcome as I made my request, and appreciated the quiet, good-humoured reassurance of the staff there. Unexpectedly, the first group of Salomonskys extracted from the microfilm records were, without a doubt, my great-uncleís family, registered unbeknown to us by his eldest daughter, my "Tante" Eva.
I spoke to my cousinís wife afterwards. Of great regret to her was the fact that she had nobody left to ask about her motherís family; it was too late for her to register the relatives whom she had heard of fleetingly in childhood, as her motherís Alzheimerís disease is now too advanced for this kind of communication. Might this be a timely reminder to all of us not to delay too long, but ask the questions now, even if they touch on difficult and painful areas? Another experience with my own relatives was that we too readily assumed that registration would already have been done by someone else in the family. It is worth checking out, rather than risking omission.
Enclosed with this Newsletter is a blank "Page of Testimony". Please donít put this off and leave it too late. We are probably the last generation to be able to acknowledge murdered relatives and family friends in this way.
Please don't be daunted by the amount of information requested in Yad vaShem's Page of Testimony. They stress that they can work even with only basic details; the important thing is for missing names to be registered. The only information really required is enough to identify the person; anything more than that is a bonus.
I have been a recent participant in this group led by Gaby Glassman on
Tuesday evenings. This group has triggered memories and emotions that
have lain dormant for many years. As a result I have been able to come
to a new understanding of some very challenging personal issues. It has
enhanced key relationships with both family and friends. Gaby runs the
group in a very professional manner so that the atmosphere is as safe
as possible. She is also caring and compassionate.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this group.
Click here if you would like to send an email to Gaby: email@example.com
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This edit 01jan2004
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