Remember Me

Saturday, 14 May 2011

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These faces haunt me, especially the children's eyes. They are part of 1,100 photographs that comprise an important project developed by the United States Holocaust Museum, called 'Remember Me'. In the words of the project's developers:

Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators. After World War II, relief agencies photographed some of the children who survived to help find their families. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to discover what became of these young survivors.

By publicizing these 1,100 photographs, the Museum hopes to identify these children, piece together information about their wartime and postwar experiences, and facilitate renewed connections among these young survivors, their families, and other individuals who were involved in their care during and after the war.

We hope to gather as much information as possible so that we can preserve the record of their experiences for future generations.

In order to do this, we need your help. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in one of the photos, please contact the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center at RememberMe@ushmm.org or via phone at 202-488-0416.

Even if you don’t recognize anyone, please share these powerful photographs with your family and friends. Doing so will increase the chances of identifying these children and help raise awareness about the experiences of the most vulnerable victims of war and genocide.

-excerpts from here and here.

I know this is not a pleasant topic, but please take the time to visit the project's website and share this information. An essential part of what helped me endure interviewing Holocaust survivors is the firm conviction and belief that such interviews were not only historically significant, but also personally necessary for the survivors. People who have been displaced and separated from their families need to reclaim a sense of identity and family. When the Nazis murdered people, they also took away the sense of belonging of those who survived. Let's help them reclaim it.

All images belong to the United States Holocaust Museum's 'Remember Me' project. View all 1,100 photographs here. If re-blogging any photos, please take careful care to link back to the museum's websites so that people can participate in the project. Thank you!

P.S. You may have heard about blogger being down over the past few days which unfortunately resulted in them deleting some posts and comments on most people's blogs, including mine. If you've left a comment in the past few days and it isn't appearing here, rest assured, I didn't delete it! To be fair, I'm going to extend my giveaway by another week till next Friday, since I don't know how many comments may have been lost on that post. Feel free to comment again if you've entered but can't see your name anywhere.

20 comments:

ARIELA WONDERS said...

god, their eyes look so old.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the important post, the photos are breath-taking. I'm currently studying how trauma, like the holocaust, has been portrayed and dealt with in literature. I think it's a very important thing to be educated about, if only so that it never happens again. xo

If Jane said...

oh hila....this is so upsetting...
but yes identifying the children does allow them some dignity and respect.

lila Check said...

Beautiful pictures...made me sad to think that we human are our worst enemies,really!..sad,so sad.
I had terrible problems with blogger and lost some comments,posts and even followers!...hope they will fix it later!
love your blog by the way!
xox

Design Elements said...

beautiful and so sad...

Siubhan said...

I had a look at the site when you mentioned it on twitter a few days ago. It's so worthwhile, both historically and individually, I think. Some of the stories that emerge, I' m sure, will be both uplifting and heartbreaking, but I do hope that the museum makes progress with the project.

It's very interesting that these photographs were taken after the end of the war - you can almost tell it from their faces.

lizzie said...

this is incredible.

mnemonique said...

this is truly a sad topic, but very important one. These nazi concentration camps were also on Polish territory (I live in Poland) so this topic is still present in Polish conciousness. I never heard about such action, but it is a great one! Thank you for posting it!
Monika from
www.efektnimbu.blogspot.com

Olga said...

It's not an easy subject...I think it's important to make posts like that, to remember the impact of history, which always remains in our lives.
It's a very important museum project.

Sweet Ronit said...

I just discovered your blog via Honey Kennedy's - it's so lovely and unique.

Sometimes it's important to write about upsetting topics - the world is simply not always a pleasant place. I admire how this project works toward a greater good, and is not self-serving in nature. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Felix Curds said...

since reading 'everything is illuminated' I've become quite enraptured with the holocaust. These photos are really beautiful and haunting at its core. It's so sad what went down in history but it's nice that projects like this are trying to reconnect people and fill that space for many of the families involved. thanks for sharing hila:)

Tracey said...

Those photographs are incredibly moving, pulling at my heart in a very powerful and sorrow-filled way.

This project is so important, and I hope lots of information can be found and collated to preserve the history of these children. Thank you Hila, for bringing this work to my attention.

hila said...

ariela: I know, that's exactly what I thought when I looked at them - it's almost as if their eyes don't belong on such youthful faces.

Sarah: I agree. What you're studying sounds fascinating, are there particular authors or works you're exploring?

if jane: yes, way too upsetting, I admit, I cried.

lila: it makes me sad to consider what we're capable of.

design elements and lizzie: yes, agreed.

mnemonique: my grandmother who survived the holocaust was originally from poland too.

olga: yes, very important, I only wish such projects got more coverage on the blogsphere.

sweet ronit: thanks!

felix curds: I love 'everything is illuminated', we need more novels like it!

tracey: it's my pleasure tracey.

SJ said...

i think the saddest thing about these photos is that they look like they've lost some of their innocence, like they're adults in children's bodies.
you really can't even rathom what they went through, no matter how much you read on the subject.

hila said...

sj: I know, I suppose they really were adults after the war, none of them had any childhood to speak of.

CloudyKim said...

Wow, this is a great project! The pictures and haunting and beautiful - I hope that most of them will be identified. Thank you for sharing this!

hila said...

cloudykim: I hope they can be identified too!

Flora said...

Have you seen the film "elle s’appelait Sarah" ? It's a french/american film. I think you would like it. I don't know if it's the same title in English. I give you a link in case you haven't see it:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1668200/
By the way, I love your blog. Very beautiful and interresting.
PS: Sorry if my english is bad.
Bonne continuation.
Flora

Something White said...

Bonjour!
I found your blog via ´Honey Kennedy´ and most of the pictures here make me just silent! There´s a lot of emotion and strength in them; they touch me. Thank you very much.
Marjolijn (Belgium)

hila said...

flora: I haven't seen that film, thanks so much for the suggestion, because I really want to see it now. Your English is not bad at all :)

something white: so glad you like them, thanks for the compliment :)