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US Holocaust Memorial Museum to digitally preserve diaries of holocaust survivors

During the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other minority groups died due to the mistreatment and targeted killings of the Nazi Germans. Despite it being accepted by many scholars, skeptics have again tried to debunk the theory the Holocaust ever took place.

Over the past few years, the number of critics who doubt the validity of the Holocaust has been on the rise, hence the need to preserve any documentation that proves the Holocaust happened.

On June 12, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) launched a campaign to protect the diaries of the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust. According to the museum, this day is symbolic. June 12 is the birthday of one of the more famous Holocaust victims of all time, Anne Frank. USHMM plans to run its campaign for 31 days. The museum will welcome any donations from interested parties to go towards the preservation of the diaries.

During the Holocaust, many people fled Europe for various nations, including the U.S., to start new lives. Those who were not lucky enough to escape worked as forced laborers and slaves in German and German-controlled lands. They were forced into detention camps where some would be killed. Most survivors during this period wrote down their stories from the period of slavery to their eventual survival. “We will help make more voices of those persecuted by Nazism heard,” says Dana Weinstein, a USHMM official, of the survivors stories within the journals.

The museum is using various means to raise money. On one front it will approach patrons to fund the campaign. Interested and related businesses and institutions are also likely to contribute towards the project. Donations are also being solicited via Kickstarter. Those who cannot afford to send money towards propagating the project can help popularize the campaign on social media using the hashtag #SaveTheirStories.

USHMM will use the funds from the campaign to translate the diaries to English from their original 17 languages, catalog them, and digitize them for future access and reference.

The Holocaust was a very dark time for the whole world. The holocaust-documenting diaries USHMM wants to preserve will serve as a reminder of what happens when people let their hatred and fear of those who are different from them cloud their judgment.

The diaries will also serve as evidence that the Holocaust took place, according to Weinstein. The stories of survival, hardship and emotional days detailed in those books show that there were witnesses to the Holocaust. These written stories are important pieces of evidence, especially since Holocaust survivors are dying off.

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