12 June 2015
The First Minister made a special visit to the United States Holocaust Museum, where she was given a tour of some of the key exhibitions and introduced to some of its Executives.
The First Minister was also able to see a small exhibition of images from the Edinburgh-based National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) – which is part of RCAHMS. She was able to witness and endorse a licence agreement between RCAHMS and the Museum, making available a wealth of information for researchers, historians, and the wider public.
The first tranche of images marks the beginning of a continuing partnership between us that will transform understanding of the Holocaust.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland’s National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) contains more than ten million photos taken during the Second World War. They come from the Royal Air Force, the US Army Air Force, and also more than a million pictures captured from the German Luftwaffe.
“They include photographs of concentration camps such as the ones I handed over to the museum. The photographs are extraordinary records. Some give an indication of the sheer size of Auschwitz Birkenau; others provide very more human details – such as the individual shadows cast by forced labourers at Ardorf Airfield.
The partnership agreement with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum will help us to digitise these records. It will make available a wealth of information for researchers, historians, and the wider public.
“By doing that, it will help to further the core aims of this great museum – to inspire people and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.
“When President Clinton spoke at the dedication ceremony for this great museum in 1993, he said that “this museum is not for the dead alone, nor even for the survivors…; it is perhaps most of all for those of us who were not there at all. To learn the lessons, to deepen our memories and our humanity, and to transmit these lessons from generation to generation.”
“If the partnership agreement between Scotland and this museum makes even a small contribution to that process, it will be hugely worthwhil. So I’m delighted to sign this agreement; I’m grateful to the Holocaust Memorial Museum for working with us; and I wish everyone the very best as we proceed with this partnership.”