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U.S. Holocaust Museum launches Kickstarter to preserve diaries and publish them online

June 12, 2017 | In the Press

From GeekWire (https://www.geekwire.com/2017/u-s-holocaust-museum-launches-kickstarter-preserve-diaries-publish-online/)

While the writings of Anne Frank are certainly the most well-known diaries related to the Holocaust, a new Kickstarter campaign aims to preserve and digitize compelling stories from other victims and survivors.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum launched the $250,000 crowd funding campaign, called “Save Their Stories: The Undiscovered Diaries of the Holocaust,” on Monday. The 31-day campaign is tied to the birthday of Frank (June 12, 1929), a news release said.

The Museum has more than 200 diaries in its collection, and their stories reveal intimate, heart-wrenching accounts of the Holocaust, the release noted. “They record in real time the feelings of loss, fear, and, sometimes, hope of those facing extraordinary peril. These testimonies convey an urgency in a way that other archival documentation often lacks. Diaries are also important teaching and scholarly tools allowing historians, educators, and students to understand the human cost of genocide.”

The Kickstarter funds will be used to catalog, digitize, and make publicly available for the first time just three of diaries. The works by Jewish refugees, which will be translated into English, include:

  • 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 Strasbourg, 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 that they received after his death.
  • 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 flight.

Backers of the Kickstarter project can receive a number of different items depending on the amount pledged, ranging from a canvas tote bag to a commemorative plaque all the way up to a private presentation with a Holocaust survivor — for $10,000.

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