Yad Vashem Opens Online Exhibit Commemorating 80 Years Since the Beginning of the Holocaust #holocaust #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen


Yad Vashem opened a new online exhibit entitled “The Onset of Mass Murder – The Fate of Jewish Families in 1941”. The exhibit highlights the stories of 12 Jewish families who were caught in the fury of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.  The new exhibition tells the stories of Jewish families in the wake of Operation Barbarossa and their ultimate fate in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Eastern Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Yugoslavia.  To see the exhibit go to: https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/jewish-families-1941/index.asp

The exhibit is free although Yad Vashem would appreciate a donation to support the Museum.


Following this invasion, mass shootings committed by the Einsatzgruppen, other German soldiers and police forces and local collaborators began across Eastern Europe and continued into 1943, during which some 1.5 million Jews were murdered.


Personal letters, works of art, photographs, documents, testimonies and Pages of Testimony submitted to Yad Vashem are used in the 12 entries to portray the families who lived through these times and describe what happened to them.


“Operation Barbarossa was a significant turning point,” Yona Kobo the exhibitions coordinator at Yad Vashem said. “Until then, the anti-Jewish steps were mostly putting Jews into ghettos and concentration camps, but the invasion brought about first mass murder and then deportation to concentration camps. They murdered first men and then soon all the women, children and babies. We wanted to give these 1.5 million a name, a face and a story to personalize what happened to them.”


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee