U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has a Successful Kickstarter

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum set up a Kickstarter in an effort to raise money to make the diaries of Holocaust victims and survivors available to everyone by helping the Museum catalog, translate, and publish them online. The Kickstarter was fully funded.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum explains the purpose of their Kickstarter campaign this way:

“We know first-person accounts are powerful. Most people are familiar with the diary of Anne Frank, and her personal account is often the first introduction that many have to the devastating history of the Holocaust. But it’s not the only diary of its kind.”

“Each of the diaries in our collection has an important story to tell, of suffering and strength, persecution and perseverance. Written by people young and old, from diverse backgrounds and countries, they bring to life a broad spectrum of individuals’ experiences during the Holocaust. Now, in the face of growing Holocaust denial, we must bring more stories to light before we lose the firsthand memories of survivors and witnesses who can shed light on the context of these diaries and other priceless artifacts in the Museum’s collection.”

The goal of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was to catalog, preserve, and make available online over 200 Holocaust diaries in the Museum’s collection – for the first time ever. The collection includes handwritten pages and notes that are in 17 different languages and that will need to be transcribed and translated into English.

Their hope was that the Kickstarter would enable them to translate into English three specific diaries written by Jewish refugees who fled their homes to escape the Holocaust. You can see images from each of these diaries on the Kickstarter campaign’s page. Those diaries are:

* The diary of Joseph Strip, a young boy who wrote about his family’s harrowing experience over the grid-lined pages of his math notebook.

* The papers of Lucien Dreyfus, a journalist and schoolteacher from Strausbourg, France, who was deported to Auschwitz in 1943. His collection includes letters to his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter who escaped to the United States in 1942.

* The diary of Hans Vogel, who fled Paris with his family while his father was interned, which contains hand-drawn and colored maps of their journey.

The Kickstarter was launched on June 12, the birthday of the most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank. The original goal of $250,000 has been reached. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum made a new “stretch goal”. If they raise an additional $50,000 before July 13, 2017, the Museum will be able to translate and transcribe 10 more diaries.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* Holocaust Records

* Holocaust Resources

* World Memory Project Hits One Million Records

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