The Power Of Truth Is In Your Hands

Uploaded by ushmm on 22.04.2011

David Bayer: My father had a shoe factory and I helped
in the factory when I was a kid. I had a sister; she was about 20; a brother, 12 or 13; a little
sister, 8-years-old or 9-years-old — 1939. When the Germans came in, all this changed.
My parents were shipped away to Treblinka. I didn't see them anymore. I didn't see my
sister, didn't see my brother, didn't see nobody. My mother, my father, everybody was
But the people existed. They were in this world. They were living. They had family.
They had children. They laughed, they sang, they ate, but now they’ve disappeared completely.
Lisa Yavnai: The Holocaust was one of the most devastating
chapters in human history. But, for some victims, records detailing their experiences survived.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has collected over 170 million documents relating
to the experiences of victims of Nazi persecution.
Steven Vitto: These documents are that bridge to that moment
and to that life that was lived.
Joseph Finkelstein: There's a lot of information that survived
the war but no one had access to it and no one really knew about it. And there's a big
part of the story of what happened to victims and even facts about survivors that has been
unknown for six, seven decades, but now is capable of being known.
Lisa Yavnai: It's easy to feel helpless when you think
about the Holocaust and the widespread Nazi persecution during World War II. The World
Memory Project gives you an opportunity to do something.
Todd Jensen: The Museum's great and very successful at
acquiring Holocaust records from all over the world. has developed tools
that make it easy for people to help bring these records online. You download one piece
of software and you'll immediately be able to look at an image and start typing the names
of the individuals on that document. And that information is saved in our database and made
searchable to others.
Joseph Finkelstein: For 63 years, he did not know what happened
to his father. He didn't know how he died or where he died.
Sol Finkelstein: I was a boy, a 14-year-old boy, 15-year-old
boy. And my father went to work and then we were in camp together, and then he got lost.
I felt an enormous guilt. What if ... what if I didn't leave him, what if I stayed that
night and he would be with us. Why did I lose my father after all these years of suffering,
and so close to being freed?
Joseph Finkelstein: I received from the Museum a document and
on the list was my grandfather's name, his date of birth, his place of birth and — a
grave number. So he survived; he survived liberation. He was taken to a hospital in
Wels and he died four days later.
Sol Finkelstein: Now I know where my father is. It's not easier
that I know, but at least I know.
Steven Vitto: Anybody could relate if you were separated
from the people that you love and you did not know what was going to happen to them
or what does happen to them — the fear, the dread, the agony of not knowing.
Elaine Culbertson: You may not have an ancestor who survived
the Holocaust or who died in it, but you can participate in the World Memory Project.
I was able to find so much information in these records. Not only did I learn the date
and time of my grandfather's death, I learned where he had died, and what he had died from.
It made him into a real person for me, not a ghost of the past, someone that I had never
met, someone that I was only told stories about. The fact that there were documents
to prove that he had once lived, and that he had died, that was an amazing find for
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum