Our unique collections serve as a memory bank, not only for the Jewish people but for all of humanity. Bringing to life the period from which they came, the collections provide a compelling perspective on the lives of the people at the time, their feelings, their thoughts, their talents, and the way they lived. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has striven to collect every relevant source of information about the six million Jews murdered and the millions more persecuted and victimized during the Holocaust. Each fragment tells its own tale, which when interwoven with others recreates, in part, the rich and sprawling tapestry of Jewish life in Europe before the War, the events that led to its destruction, and the lives that continued to be lived while the devastation unfolded.

Yad Vashem began its “Gathering the Fragments” campaign in 2011 and has since received over 171,000 items from the global community. These artifacts include items belonging to victims and survivors, working tools and prisoners’ personal effects, and religious articles. Yad Vashem will conserve and catalogue the materials and make them accessible to enable researchers, curators, educators, students, and the wider public to learn what happened to the Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Collecting these artifacts provides us with the opportunity to reconstruct and preserve the stories of the individuals behind the unimaginable suffering. Submitting or lending your documents, photos, and artifacts to Yad Vashem ensures that the stories your family holds dear will stand the test of time.

For more information, please email yadvashemusa@yadvashemusa.org