Throughout the Nazis' attempts to destroy both Judaism and the Jewish people during the Holocaust, Jews fought to cling to their most cherished traditions such as crafting a shofar (Ram’s Horn) under perilous conditions in a forced labor camp, transcribing a High Holiday Prayer Book from memory on strips of burlap sacks and sending New Year’s greetings cards from the ghettos to family and friends. Each of these acts, carried out in the face of Nazi attempts at dehumanization, was a gesture of defiance, a stubborn assertion of identity, a determined attempt at the preservation of their heritage for future generations.
Yad Vashem is privileged to possess the largest collection of Holocaust related documents, artifacts, photographs, Art, and testimonies in the world, within which we witness the richness of European Jewish life before the Holocaust, the calamity of its destruction, and the remarkable efforts of postwar revival. These collections are essential for grasping the scope and implications of the Holocaust, and the fate of its victims, and comprise an unparalleled source of educational inspiration for our youth.
As we enter the New Year period, and we think about our own wishes for the coming year, let’s make a vow: inspired by Jews who suffered Nazi oppression and fought valiantly to hold on to their identity, history and traditions, let us do our part to maintain and safeguard the past in order to secure a more meaningful future for our children.
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