The Google Cultural Institute partnered with Yad Vashem, the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, to bring their collections of photographs and documents to the web. The archive contains more than 140,000 images.
Using experimental optical character recognition (OCR), we transcribed the text on many images, making them discoverable on the web. This means that if you search for the name of a family member who was in the Holocaust, you might find a link to an image on the Yad Vashem site. To experience the new archive features yourself, try searching for the term [rena weiser], the name of a Jewish refugee. You’ll find a link to a visa issued to her by the Consulate of Chile in France. OCR technology has made it possible to discover this picture through a search for her name.
“And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a "Yad Vashem")… that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5
Yad Vashem encourages people to add personal stories about images that have meaning for them. Googler Doron Avni, found a photograph of his grandfather taken immediately after his release from a Nazi prison. His grandfather had vowed that if he should survive, he would immediately have his picture taken to preserve the memory of his experience in the Holocaust. He stitched the photo into his coat, an act that later saved his life. After hiding in the forest for a year, Russian soldiers mistook him for a German enemy, but released him once they saw the picture.