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Yad Vashem in Deal for Hidden Holocaust Files

Documents on the murder of Jews in eastern Europe are to be made available to researchers worldwide after generations in which they were hidden or inaccessible. The Holocaust-era files will be copied, with the copies made available through the Yad Vashem memorial project.

The breakthrough deal for the files was signed recently by Yad Vashem officials and representatives from the national archives in Lithuania. Similar agreements are expected to be reached soon with representatives in the Ukraine and Belarus.

“This is an important achievement, because in many cases the documentation of the murder of Jews in former Soviet territories was on the level of local bureaucratic communications,” said Yad Vashem Director Avner Shalev.

“This acquisition will help us deepen Holocaust research pertaining to the territories of the former Soviet Union. We will also be able to find additional names of Jews who were murdered in those areas,” he said.

Among the documents revealed through the agreement will be local appeals to Nazi authorities regarding Jews, official records of the confiscation of Jewish property, and lists of the names of Jews in various professions. Researchers said the new files are expected to shed light on the realities of day-to-day life for Jews in the region, particularly during the critical years 1941-1943.

Yad Vashem officials noted that the project has been made possible by support from the Genesis philanthropy group and the European Jewish Fund.

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