Online Exhibition - Last Letters from the Holocaust: 1943 #holocaust #announcements


Jan Meisels Allen
 

 

Yad Vashem has collected thousands of personal letters that reveal the hardships of Jews surviving day by day during the Holocaust. A selection of this correspondence is featured in the third in a series of online exhibitions about last letters sent during the Shoah: “I Left Everyone at Home': Last Letters from 1943" (https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/last-letters/1943/index.asp).

 

These online exhibitions provide rare documentation of the stories of Holocaust victims through their manuscripts, photos, Pages of Testimony that were filled out in their memory, and excerpts of testimony from family members who survived.

 

This exhibition comprises ten last letters. Two of them were written by daughters to their parents. The girls were murdered, but the parents survived.

 

“The letters featured in this exhibition were sent from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, Greece, Poland, France and Russia. They were written in different languages: German, Dutch, Yiddish, Ladino, Polish and French. One of them, a short missive, belongs to a distinct group among the letters housed in Yad Vashem's Archives: letters written on special International Red Cross forms that were sent from German-occupied territories. The residents of these areas could not use regular postal services to make contact with those in countries at war with Nazi Germany, such as Great Britain and its mandatory territory Eretz Israel. These letters only allowed for few words, and mostly one form of wording: "We are well," details of names, "We hope you are also okay," and suchlike. However, occasionally the Red Cross letters contained information on an upcoming deportation or other encrypted details, which only the recipients could understand.”

 

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

 

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