April 16, 2002
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM’S SURVIVOR REGISTRY UPDATING INFORMATION IN INTERNATIONAL DATABASE
Registry Continues to Reunite Holocaust Survivors and Loved Ones
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is launching a major initiative to expand its Registry of Holocaust Survivors and wants biographic information on Holocaust survivors worldwide. The Museum seeks information on Holocaust survivors who are not listed in the Registry and to update the information on those already registered. Information can be submitted by survivors themselves or by their family members.
“The process of searching for survivors continues today, almost sixty years after World War II,” says Scott Miller, Director of the Museum’s Registry of Holocaust Survivors. “Families and friends continue looking for those who may have survived Hitler’s genocide. The Registry handles 34,000 requests annually, and hundreds of people have been reunited through its efforts. Survivors can be registered posthumously, allowing people to confirm if someone they knew survived the Holocaust, even if they are not alive today.”
Registration forms are available in 12 languages and can obtained on the Museum’s Web site, www.ushmm.org, by selecting the “Remembrance” option. However, to protect the privacy of survivors and their families, the Registry is not searchable online. Survivors can provide as much, or as little, information as they desire, about their lives before, during and after the Holocaust. Photographs are also accepted. Survivors’ addresses and telephone numbers are not displayed in the Registry nor released without their consent.
The Registry database contains information on about 180,000 Holocaust survivors and their family members worldwide. It serves as a memorial to the victims of Nazism and facilitates contact between survivors and assists survivors and their families in tracing missing relatives. Inclusion is voluntary, and while the Museum encourages all survivors to participate and is one of the largest registries of its type, it does not purport to be a comprehensive listing of all Holocaust survivors.
The Registry defines a survivor as a person who was displaced, persecuted and/or discriminated against by the racial, religious, ethnic, and political policies of the Nazis and their allies. In addition to former inmates of concentration camps and ghettos this includes, among others, refugees and people in hiding. Non-Jewish victims of Nazi policies are also encouraged to register. The Nazis also targeted Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), Poles, Germans who were physically and/or mentally handicapped, German homosexuals, and German Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Registry began in 1981 as a project of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors to aid survivors search for family and friends who immigrated to the United States following World War II. Benjamin and Vladka Meed, two survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, founded the American Gathering and are committed to finding a record of every Holocaust survivor. In April 1993, the Registry was transferred to the Museum. Although most of the registered survivors live in North America, the Museum now includes the names of survivors from all backgrounds living all over the world.
“Registered survivors can live anywhere, not just in the United States,” continues Miller. “The Registry’s international component is something we are committed to growing.”
Survivors or their families interested in contacting the Museum’s Registry of Holocaust Survivors can call 202/488-6130, e-mail, email@example.com, or visit the Museum’s Web site, www.ushmm.org/remembrance/registry.