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10 Online Sources for Holocaust Research

Locating Records of Holocaust Ancestors

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From deportation records to lists of the martyred to survivor testimonies, the Holocaust has generated a vast amount of documents and records - many of which can be researched online!

1. Yad Vashem - Shoah Names Database

Yad Vashem and its partners have collected the names and biographical details of more than three million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War Two. This free database includes information taken from a variety of sources, including my favorite - pages of testimony sent in by Holocaust descendants. Some of these date back to the 1950s and include parents' names and even photos.

2. JewishGen Holocaust Database

This wonderful collection of databases containing information about Holocaust victims and survivors includes more than two million entries. Names and other information come from a wide variety of records, including concentration camp records, hospital lists, Jewish survivor registers, deportation lists, census records and lists of orphans. Scroll down past the search boxes for more information on the individual databases.

3. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A variety of Holocaust databases and resources can be accessed on the Web site of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, including personal histories of Holocaust survivors, the Encyclopedia of Holocaust History and a searchable database of Holocaust name lists. The museum also accepts online requests for information from the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive, largest repository of Holocaust documents in the world.

4. Footnote.com - Holocaust Collection

Through their partnership with the U.S. National Archives, Footnote.com is scanning and placing online a rich variety of Holocaust records, from Holocaust assets, to death camp records, to interrogation reports from the Nuremburg trials. These records supplement other Holocaust records already on Footnote, including official US Holocaust Memorial Museum records. Footnote's Holocaust collection is still in progress, and available to Footnote.com subscribers.

5. JewishGen's Yizkor Book Database

If you have ancestors who perished or fled from various pogroms or the Holocaust, a great deal of Jewish history and memorial information can often be found in Yizkor Books, or memorial books. This free JewishGen database allows you to search by town or region to find descriptions of available Yizkor books for that location, along with the names of libraries with those books, and links to online translations (if available).

6. Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands

This free Internet site serves as a digital monument dedicated to preserving the memory of all the men, women and children who were persecuted as Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and did not survive the Shoah - including both the native-born Dutch, as well as the Jews who fled Germany and other countries for the Netherlands. Each individual has a separate page commemorating his or her life, with basic details such as birth and death. When possible, it also contains a reconstruction of family relationships, as well as addresses from 1941 or 1942, so you can take a virtual walk through streets and towns and meet their neighbors as well.

7. Mémorial de la SHOAH

The Shoah Memorial in Paris is the largest research, information and awareness-raising center in Europe on the history of the genocide of the Jews during the Shoah. One of the many resources they host online is this searchable database of Jews deported from France or who died in France, most of them refugees from countries such as Germany and Austria.

8. USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Testimonies of the Holocaust

The Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has collected and preserved nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses in 32 languages from 56 countries. View clips from selected testimonies online, or locate an archive near you where you can access the collection.

9. New York Public Library - Yizkor Books

Browse scanned images from more than 600 Yizkor books held by the New York Public Library - a wonderful collection!

10. Latvia Holocaust Jewish Names Project

The 1935 Latvian census identified 93,479 Jews living in Latvia. It is estimated that about 70,000 Latvian Jews perished in the Holocaust, the great majority by December 1941. The Latvia Holocaust Jewish Names Project is attempting to recover the names and identities of these members of the Latvian Jewish Community who perished and to ensure that their memory is preserved. Similar country-specific name projects can also be found online, such as the Lithuanian Jewish Names Project.

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