Today is Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, when people around the world pause to remember the victims who perished in the Holocaust. This year, the historical record of the Holocaust is more rich, accurate and interactive thanks to Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based center for remembering the Holocaust's victims and survivors, which has brought its collections online and asked the public to input comments and personal stories. We’ve been able to support Yad Vashem with our technology by building the collection site, making it more accessible through search and continuing to update it with new content and technical features.

Since the collection launched in January, visitors from around the world have searched the enhanced archive and hundreds of people have contributed more than 5,000 comments, including many pieces of information that were unrecorded prior to the archive going online. The contributions range from personal stories to additions and corrections to discussions about the images. It’s remarkable how a short personal comment can bring a photograph to life in a whole new way. For example, one person added the following information to a photograph labeled “The bridge that connected the large and small ghetto":
This picture was taken on Chlodna street. the building in the background still stands to this day (2011); the shot was probably taken from the door of the building at Chlodna 26 or Chlodna 24, where my great grandparents, Hena Skowronek and Józef Blat lived in 1939. They died in the ghetto.
Another person added a story about a man who otherwise may have gone unnoticed in this photograph of “An orchestra escorting prisoners destined for execution.”

The man who stays on the trolley is Hans Bonarewitz, camp number 3138. In June 1942 he successfully escaped from the camp, hidden in a crate and loaded by a fellow prisoner onto a truck which leaves the camp. Sadly he was captured ~18 days later and brought back to the KL. There he was exposed to others 7 days in his crate on the place for roll call and hanged on July 30th, 1942.
We’ve added a new comments page on the Yad Vashem site with a selection of stories like these alongside their respective photographs. We’ve also been updating the site with new features and content. For example, to provide better geographical context to pictures in the collection, you’ll now see a small map to the right of the image whenever geographic data is available, such as in this photo of a man in Warsaw, Poland. We also added new footage of the Eichmann trial—a central event in our understanding of the Holocaust during which searing personal testimony from many Holocaust survivors was broadcast on television for the first time, reaching far more people than ever before and enabling people to begin to grapple with the Holocaust’s truths and its memory. You can view this trial now on two YouTube channels, one with the original soundtrack and the other dubbed in English. The channels consist of 474 videos, 400+ hours of video and 875 gigabytes of data. You can learn more about the significance of these trials from short video lectures and a film entitled "A Living Record" on a special microsite.

We encourage you to explore the Yad Vashem collection site to learn more about the Holocaust and to contribute your personal stories, knowledge and thoughts to this expanding historical record.