“For Them My Soul Weeps”

From 1933 to 1945 at least 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazi perpetrators. From killing fields to the mechanized death camps, Jews and others under the heel of Nazism perished. Amazingly, some survived and escaped death.

Ancestry.com has begun the process of digitizing the histories of both Jewish and non-Jewish sources, according to Monique Dinor, the vice president of media for Ancestry. This massive, philanthropic effort came about because of a partnership between Ancestry and the German based Arolsen Archives which have produced the online service under the name, The Holocaust Remembrance Collection.  They contain over 30 million documents, and histories of 17 million victims and survivors of National Socialism (Nazis).

For the Chief Financial Officer Chief Operating Officer of Ancestry, Harold Hochhauser this project had a personal meaning. Using the resources from the Arolsen Archives and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum he gained information about his grandmother’s experience in Germany during the Holocaust.  In a press release he said, “Sharing her story of strength, struggle, and resiliency with my family was a powerful and moving moment, and one that I will never forget.”

“This collection will help people learn more about the magnitude of the Holocaust, those who lived through it and those who perished as a result of it. Digital copies of the Arolsen Archives will also be available on the websites of Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Combined, the project contains approximately 1.2 million digitized images, which are searchable by entering a person’s basic demographic information.” The information can be accessed via the website, ancestry.com.

What a significant, meaningful service this partnership has provided, as attested by Mr. Hochhauser. In thinking of the magnitude of the Holocaust the only possible response is the statement, “For them my soul weeps.”

(Source: Sonia Epstein; The Jerusalem Post)