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Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem
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Reviewed by:
Wayne Hanley
West Chester University
January 2004

The museum Yad Vashem is one of the foremost research centers for holocaust studies in the world. Some of the most important parts of the collection are now available on this website and many materials are available through 13 exhibits.

Exhibit topics include The Auschwitz Album, Photographs from the Warsaw Ghetto, The Pen and the Sword, and No Child’s Play. Each exhibit is logically laid out with the title page listing the various “chapters” it contains.

No Child’s Play, an exhibit on toys and games played by both children and adults during the era provides an overview in “Opening.” This is followed by five chapters:”Before the War,” “In the Shadows of War,” “Ghettos,” “In Hiding,” and “Toward a New Life.” Each chapter then displays a selection of Yad Vashem’s fascinating collection, from handmade dolls and children’s drawings to hand-carved chess sets to a game of Monopoly, handmade in the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1943. (The stations in the game were named after the streets and the main buildings in the ghetto.)

Upon opening each chapter, “Next” and “Previous” buttons allow the viewer to navigate within the chapter. This is not readily evident (as the buttons could also advance to the next chapter). A navigator bar on the page header allows for changing chapters. Each chapter is about six pages of images and text and successfully portrays the varied experiences of the holocaust.

For the classroom teacher, the Yad Vashem website could be used as a source for images or facts about the holocaust era or as a resource for research projects. The site also has a “Lexicon,” designed to be a “concise elementary introduction” to the history of the holocaust and the site’s various collections. This lexicon may be browsed by letter, keyword, and media type or by using the topical “Gates of Knowledge” list.

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