1 April 2015

EHRI Online Portal launched in Berlin

Before long there will be no survivors left who can testify about their experiences. So historians and archivists can and will preserve remembrance of the Holocaust. By developing and using new tools for documentation and research the lack of eyewitnesses will – at least partially – be compensated.

On 26 March, EHRI – the ›European Holocaust Research Infrastructure‹ – presented its online portal. Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, opened the portal. In his speech he emphasized the importance of knowledge about the Holocaust to stand up against discrimination and intolerance.

The website provides access to rich information about more than 1,800 Holocaust-related archival institutions in 51 countries, and to descriptions of tens of thousands of archival materials. Starting out in 2010 as a EC-financed initiative, scholars in 20 institutions in Europe and Israel worked together to make archives accessible and to connect collections.

›The EHRI portal can play an important role in the democratisation of knowledge of the Holocaust‹, says Dr. Conny Kristel, coordinator of EHRI. Not only academic researchers but also the public at large can use the online facility for scientific or personal purposes.

In the future there are many more archival collections from other countries to be integrated in the EHRI portal. This is only possible due to further financial support by the European Union. Robert-Jan Smits announced that the EU will support EHRI also in a second phase, starting in May 2015. One of the next important goals of EHRI is the integration of further collections from archives in Eastern Europe. The holocaust in Eastern Europe is comparatively little explored. However, about 90 percent of the Holocaust victims are Jews from Eastern Europe.

The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is one of the 20 partners from EHRI. In 2014 the foundation organised an international workshop about the ›Names of Shoah Victims‹. Together with the project executing organisation NIOD (Amsterdam) it hosts the final presentation in Berlin.

  • Read the programme of the final launch event here
  • Find more information about the EHRI project here

About EHRI:
The field of Holocaust studies relies on a wide variety of archives. Central to EHRI’s mission is the creation of an online inventory of Holocaust-related archival institutions and collections. The EHRI portal offers access to information on Holocaust-related archival material held in institutions across Europe and beyond.

EHRI is not only a digital infrastructure, but also a human network. Through a varied programme of fellowship opportunities, summer schools, workshops and conferences, EHRI is fostering new connections among Holocaust researchers, archivists and digital humanists. It thereby promotes new interdisciplinary and transnational approaches to Holocaust research.

Picture (f. l. t. r.): Polish State Secretary Prof. Marek Ratajczak, Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker, EHRI Project Director Conny Kristel, DG Research and Innovation, EC, Robert-Jan Smits, German State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, EHRI ET Member Tobias Blanke, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture (f. l. t. r.): Polish State Secretary Prof. Marek Ratajczak, Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker, EHRI Project Director Conny Kristel, DG Research and Innovation, EC, Robert-Jan Smits, German State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, EHRI ET Member Tobias Blanke, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Robert-Jan Smits opens the portal. Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Robert-Jan Smits opens the portal. Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Conny Kristel, EHRI project coordinator, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Conny Kristel, EHRI project coordinator, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Panel discussion about the future of Holocaust research, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Panel discussion about the future of Holocaust research, Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Participants of the conference (Veerle Vanden Daelen, CEGESOMA, and Haim Gertner, Yad Vashem), Photo: Marko Priske

Picture: Participants of the conference (Veerle Vanden Daelen, CEGESOMA, and Haim Gertner, Yad Vashem), Photo: Marko Priske