Since 1954, specialists at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, have been working to track all the 6 million Holocaust victims and their stories. They reach out to the Jewish community, survivors, or family members of the victims to add to their ever growing collection of photos and stories – as displayed in the Hall of Names – so that no one will be forgotten. As Holocaust survivors continue to pass away, they are working harder than ever to identify the remaining victims.
Here in the Hall of Names groups of visitors pass through in quiet contemplation. There is space on the shelves for 11,000 more boxes - or 6m names in all.
With the last survivors dying out, Yad Vashem is facing a race against time to prevent more than a million unidentified victims disappearing without a trace.
This is apparent in the decreasing number of Pages of Testimony it receives - down from at least 2,000 per month five years ago to about 1,600 per month currently.
The memorial is trying to raise awareness, including among Holocaust survivors who have not yet come forward. For decades, for many of them the experience was still too painful to talk about…
"I personally would like that we do reach that goal, that at least among those who perished there won't be a person who remains unknown. It's our moral imperative," says Sara Berkowitz [manager of the Names Recovery Project].