The Fake IDs and Forged Documents That Saved Jewish Lives

Stand for Israel  |  January 24, 2022

Holocaust documents
(Photo: Yad Vashem)

For those of us who have sworn to “never forget” the six million Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust, Yad Vashem – Israel’s official Holocaust memorial – is always an invaluable resource. And now, Algemeiner’s Shiryn Ghermezian reports on Yad Vashem’s latest exhibit – falsified documents that saved Jews during the Holocaust:

The exhibition,  entitled “Remember Your New Name: Surviving the Holocaust Under a False Identity,” focuses on 14 stories of Jews who survived under assumed identities in Eastern Europe, Central and Western Europe, and in Southern Europe and the Balkans.

“Imprisoned by the paralyzing fear of being discovered for who and what they truly were, they lived their lives seeing the plight of their fellow Jews, but were powerless to do anything about it,” said Dana Porath, director of the Digital Department in Yad Vashem‘s Communications Division. “These Jews were often the only members of their family to survive the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

The stories in the exhibit are based on hundreds of thousands of documents housed in the Yad Vashem Archives and material from Yad Vashem’s databases and collections, including personal documents, testimonies, photographs, Pages of Testimony, artworks and footage. The forged documents on display in the exhibit were donated to Yad Vashem by survivors and their families, and “bring to light amazing stories of survival, determination, creativity, resourcefulness, courage and sacrifice,” according to the memorial.

“I often used to wake the children in the middle of the night, to check if they remembered their new names even when half asleep. I would repeat over and over again that no one could know that we were Jewish,” says an excerpt from the memoir of Brenda Pluczenik-Schor from Krakow, who survived the Holocaust living under a false identity in Budapest along with her husband and daughters…