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About this project
This is no ordinary map.
It’s a deeply personal illustration of one family’s harrowing escape and survival during the Holocaust. It’s included in a diary—one of over 200 diaries the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has in its collections waiting to be cataloged, translated and published online.
We’re in a race against time to do this specialized, expensive and time-consuming work, and we urgently need your help.
We know first-person accounts are powerful. Most people are familiar with the diary of Anne Frank, and her personal account is often the first introduction that many have to the devastating history of the Holocaust. But it’s not the only diary of its kind.
Each of the diaries in our collection has an important story to tell, of suffering and strength, persecution and perseverance. Written by people young and old, from diverse backgrounds and countries, they bring to life a broad spectrum of individuals’ experiences during the Holocaust. Now, in the face of growing Holocaust denial, we must bring more stories to light before we lose the firsthand memories of survivors and witnesses who can shed light on the context of these diaries and other priceless artifacts in the Museum’s collection.
As the survivor generation passes, it is our responsibility to make sure their voices live on so that their experiences will not be forgotten. You can be a part of preserving history: Back this project and Save Their Stories.
For this project, we’ll catalog, preserve, and make available online over 200 Holocaust diaries in the Museum’s collection — for the first time ever. The handwritten pages and notes are in 17 different languages and will need to be transcribed and translated into English. While we would love to raise enough funds to complete the translation of every diary, reaching our project goal will enable us to translate into English three diaries written by Jewish refugees who fled their homes to escape the Holocaust:
The diary of Joseph Strip, a young boy who wrote about his family’s harrowing experience over the grid-lined pages of his math notebook.
The papers of Lucien Dreyfus, a journalist and schoolteacher from Strasbourg, France, who was deported to Auschwitz in 1943. His collection includes letters to his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter who escaped to the United States in 1942.
The diary of Hans Vogel, who fled Paris with his family while his father was interned, which contains hand-drawn and colored maps of their journey.
Each of these three diaries will be published in its entirety online so that people everywhere can view the original pages and read the translations. Like Anne Frank’s personal record, these stories expose the truth of Holocaust history — so that ever more researchers, authors, teachers, students can learn from them and help fulfill the promise of Never Again.
Here is our estimated timeline for this project:
Summer/Fall 2018: Cataloging complete for all 200+ diaries
Winter 2018: Digitization complete for all 200+ diaries
Spring 2019: Collections for all 200+ diaries published online at ushmm.org
Summer 2019: Translations and transcriptions for 3 feature diaries added to ushmm.org collections listings
The Museum has collected millions of pages of historic documents containing details on the individual experiences of Holocaust victims and survivors. Although we are committed to making our entire collection available online, the sheer size of it makes this a lengthy, expensive project.
Each additional first-person account or piece of evidence made available on the Museum’s website–which is visited by millions of people every year–has the potential to reveal a new aspect of Holocaust history or highlight its relevance to the world today.