The Shmooze

Yad Vashem Gets Interactive With Google

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

Accessing Yad Vashem’s massive store of photos and documents is about to get as easy as typing into a search bar. According to a report in The New York Times this week, the Jerusalem-based “keeper of the world’s largest Holocaust archive” is expanding a partnership with Google to digitize about 130,000 photographs — and give users the option to add commentary, historical backgrounds, and family stories.

The long-term goal, said the Times, “is to include Yad Vashem’s larger archive of millions of documents, including survivor testimonials, diaries, letters and manuscripts.” A Yad Vashem press release proclaimed the initiative “will not only bring this valuable information to a much wider audience worldwide, but it will allow people around the world to contribute, by identifying the stories behind photos and documents, adding their own stories and knowledge to the site.” Google — whose founders are Jewish — “is an integral partner in our mission, as they help us to reach new audiences, including young people around the world, enabling them to be active in the discussion about the Holocaust,” Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said in the release.

In the Times story, an Israeli Google employee named Doron Avni demonstrated how the archive works by searching for — and finding — a photo of his grandfather taken in 1941, just after his release from a Nazi-run prison in Lithuania. “Under the photograph of his grandfather, then 27, dark-eyed and gaunt, Mr. Avni was able to type in details of his grandfather’s story. Icons on the page from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets allow for immediate sharing of the images and attached information.”

Yad Vashem’s photos, reports the Times, “have been scanned using optical character recognition, which identifies any text in the pictures, making it searchable. So if Mr. Avni’s grandfather’s name had not been listed in a document but had been inscribed on a photograph, whether in Latin or Hebrew letters, he would still have been found.”

Two years ago, Yad Vashem launched a YouTube channel to showcase a series of videos of Holocaust survivor testimonials. The YouTube channel is available at www.youtube.com/yadvashem.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Avner Shalev, Doron Avni, Google, Holocaust, Yad Vashem



Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.