Toronto and Jerusalem – January 24, 2011…Yad Vashem  has launched a YouTube Channel in Farsi, and an expanded version of its Farsi website.
The Farsi YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/yadvashemfarsi) channel contains survivor testimonies, archival footage, and mini-lectures by Holocaust historians on topics such as contemporary antisemitism, and what makes the Holocaust a unique historical event. The comprehensive new website (http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/fa/index.asp) includes a chronological and thematic narrative about the Holocaust with related video, photos, documents and artifacts; frequently asked questions about the Holocaust; a lexicon of terms; online exhibitions including a multimedia presentation of the Auschwitz Album in Farsi; and stories of Righteous Among the Nations.   The website was translated by Prof. David Yerushalmi, of the Center for Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University.
Addressing viewers on the YouTube channel, President Shimon Peres encouraged people to visit the site:   “History is rich in events, but there is one event that is exceptional, which is a watershed.  That is the Holocaust: when a cultured nation in an organized manner killed 6 million people because they were Jews, including a million and a half babies and children.  What we suggest is that each of you will see the material, which is based on records and on photos, to understand what happened, and also to be able to tell your own children to beware, not to let history fall again to such a depth, to such shame,” he said.
“One of our primary goals is to make credible information about the Holocaust accessible to as wide an audience as possible,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem. “Today, when there is so much disinformation and distortion easily available online, we provide an alternative to anyone who is interested in the truth.”
Fran Sonshine, National Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem said, “No doubt, Yad Vashem’s YouTube initiative will provide Farsi speaking Canadians with the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust, so that the multicultural fabric of our great country, with its myriad cultures, beliefs, and ethnicities, will be strengthened.”
Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli, a survivor of Auschwitz whose testimony is included in the site and YouTube Channel said, “I’m very moved that my testimony and that of other Holocaust survivors has been translated into Farsi and are on the Yad Vashem website.  I see great importance in that Farsi speakers will be able to visit the site, to read and hear about the Holocaust in their own language.  Holocaust denial in many countries exists, and that is why it is important that people will see us, the Holocaust survivors, and listen to our testimony, and learn about the events of the Holocaust – also in Farsi.”
Said Yaron Ashkenazi, Executive Director of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, “It is the right of every person to know the truth and it is the privilege of Yad Vashem to be a part of this revolutionary initiative.  Yad Vashem, through the far reaching tentacles of YouTube, will be able to provide all Farsi speaking Canadians, numbering over 120,000, their basic right to know the veracity of history.”
Yad Vashem’s website (http://www.yadvashem.org/) and YouTube Channel are currently available in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Spanish and Farsi.
The Farsi YouTube Channel and expanded Farsi website were made possible with the generous support of Greg Rosshandler and family, Australia.

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