Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.
This week we turn to a website devoted to remembering one of the darkest periods in recent human history and preventing a repetition today.
SWIADER: "The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website is a place that you can get, we hope, any answer to any question about the history of the holocaust and, especially, about modern-day genocide."
Lawrence Swiader is Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, online at ushmm.org. The museum and its website focus on Nazi Germany's efforts to exterminate Jews and other religious, ethnic and racial minorities across Europe. The site includes online exhibits, for example, about refugees who fled Europe for Shanghai, China. It also describes the Nazi persecution of homosexuals.
The most popular feature on the site is the Holocaust Encyclopedia, a continuously-updated reference work now available in three languages with more coming, starting soon with Arabic and Farsi.
Swiader says the site attracts 15 million visitors a year, with about 30 percent coming from virtually every country outside the United States. He says visitors are interested in the stories of those who personally witnessed the Holocaust:
SWIADER: "Most people who come to the museum really want to hear first-person testimony — testimony by survivors, testimony by liberators and testimony by bystanders. And there are many, many tens of thousands of words of testimony available on our website in text form, in audio form, and in video form. And that's also one of our most-accessed resources."
Although the focus of the Holocaust Museum and its website is the genocide in Europe 60 years ago, its other main concern is genocide in today's world. The museum recently announced a partnership with Google to better present details on the ongoing tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan.
SWIADER: "They'll see over 1,600 villages throughout Darfur repressented by red and yellow flame icons that are the completely destroyed or partially destroyed homes, schools, mosques and other structures. They'll see pictures. They'll see video that they can access."
Lawrence Swiader of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website, online at ushmm.org. You can also get the link from our site, voanews.com.