Project linking Holocaust documents set


(JTA) — A project to connect Holocaust documents throughout Europe is set to be launched.

The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, a four-year, nearly $10 million project, will be launched Nov. 16 in Brussels. EHRI, a project of the European Union with 20 partner organizations from 13 European countries including Israel, will be a source of information for researchers and educators around the world. 

It is part of the European Union’s research program FP7, in which Israel is a partner.  

“The establishment of EHRI is especially important as different historical narratives are competing in Europe,” said Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem, a partner in the project. “Through EHRI, Europe is stating its understanding that the Holocaust has unique standing in the joint European historical narrative.”

“The nature of the events of the Holocaust, and the chaotic state of Europe in the immediate post-war, coupled with the Nazis’ effort to destroy not only the Jewish people, but all memory of them, has meant that information about the Holocaust is spread all over the world,” he said.  “In order to be able to begin to piece together what happened, information that is located in numerous archives throughout Europe must be connected. EHRI will facilitate research into the Holocaust and help us further piece together what happened, when and to whom.” 

Working projects will focus on creating a shared thesaurus of 5,000 keywords, allowing unified searches across collections that contain millions of documents in numerous languages, and encouraging research by creating a network among experts in Holocaust-related fields through forums to explore cooperation in names recovery, Holocaust art, identifying photos from the Holocaust period and more.  

Other aspects of the project will deal with information technologies, access and scholarship for researchers to study at Yad Vashem and at other archives. 

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