“I bought this prayer book in Auschwitz for a portion of my daily bread ration. It accompanied me through the entire torturous journey in the death and concentration camps in Germany. I donate this prayer book today to Yad Vashem – as a reminder to future generations.”
In 1944, Zvi Kopolovich purchased a prayer book in Auschwitz by trading a portion of his meager daily bread ration with another inmate. Kopolovich, who was the sole survivor of his family, carried that precious prayer book with him as a connection to the Jewish tradition with which he was raised. Although he treasured this prayer book, he understood the importance of donating it to Yad Vashem. This invaluable prayer book now has a permanent home in Yad Vashem’s artifacts collection.
Yad Vashem houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive Holocaust-era related collections. It is Yad Vashem’s moral obligation to the Jewish people and humanity to preserve every item and use them to educate about the Holocaust worldwide. Zvi Kopolovich understood this obligation when he donated his precious prayer book to Yad Vashem with the inscription, “I donate this prayer book today to Yad Vashem – as a reminder to future generations.”
“Has the like of this ever happened in your days or even in the days of your fathers, tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” (Joel, 1:2-3)