Yad Vashem - The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

  • יד ושם – רשות הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה
  • Yad ṿa-shem, rashut ha-zikaron la-Shoʼah ṿela-gevurah
Type of Entity
Corporate Body

Dates of Existence

From 1953 to the present


In 1953, the Israeli Knesset enacted the Yad Vashem Law, which determined that among its other missions, the task of Yad Vashem is “to collect, examine and publish testimony of the disaster and the heroism it called forth…” Indeed, efforts to document the Holocaust had begun long before the passage of the law. From the Nazi rise to power in Germany, and throughout World War II, there were those who documented the events as they were taking place, often under the harshest conditions. Immediately after the war, centers for documentation and the collection of testimonies were established in many places around the world, including Munich, Warsaw, Lodz, Lublin, Paris, Bratislava, Budapest and other locations. The information about what was happening in Europe began to reach the Jewish community of Eretz Israel during the war. Even before the enormity of the disaster became clear, Mordechai Shenhavi initiated a Commemorative Project for the Jews of Europe that would include an archive. The Yad Vashem Archives began its official activities in 1946, under the direction of Dr. Sarah Friedlander, who had been born in Budapest and saved on the Kasztner train.

The memorial consists of a 180-dunam (18.0 ha; 44.5-acre) complex containing the Holocaust History Museum, memorial sites such as the Children's Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, a research institute with archives, a library, a publishing house, and an educational center named The International School/Institute for Holocaust Studies.

A core goal of Yad Vashem's founders was to recognize gentiles who, at personal risk and without a financial or evangelistic motive, chose to save their Jewish brethren from the ongoing genocide during the Holocaust. Those recognized by Israel as Righteous Among the Nations are honored in a section of Yad Vashem known as the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations.


  • Jerusalem

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0