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The Holocaust has been recognised as an act of genocide perpetrated against the Jewish People. It was characterised by state sponsored discrimination, dispossession and systematic murder of 6 million jewish men, women and children by the Nazi regime and their collaborators. Other communities such as the Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals and the disabled were also targeted.
Almost two-thirds of European Jewry were killed in the Nazi's Final Solution to their "Jewish Problem"
In an effort to ensure the lives of these people are remembered several institutions have arisen to collect, collate and share the surprisingly vast amount of information available on the victims pf the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Established in 1953, Yad Vashem is committed to four pillars of remembrance: commemoration, documentation, research and education.
The Nazi regime was meticulous in their recording of the atrocities they committed against the Jewish people. Yada Vashem has the largest collection of documentary evidence of this event with more than 125 million pages of documentary evidence, films, and 420,000 photographs, as well as more than 100,000 survivor testimonies.
All this evidence can help family historians trace family members who may have been victims. Since it's establishment Yad Vashem has been indexing the names of victims as detailed in their over 2 million ages of testimony in an attempt to name all the victims. These names are contained in the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names.