This website has been developed and is being maintained on behalf of ESFRI by the StR-ESFRI project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n° 654213
A Research Infrastructure for Holocaust research and remembrance
The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) is a new pan-European distributed RI that supports the Holocaust research community. It provides access to information about dispersed sources, and develops tools and methods that enable researchers and archivists to collaboratively work with such sources. It thereby seeks to overcome one of the hallmark challenges of Holocaust research – the wide dispersal of sources across Europe and beyond, and the concomitant fragmentation of Holocaust historiography. By integrating sources and research, EHRI enables the study of the Holocaust as a European phenomenon.
Providing access – both online via the EHRI Portal and physical via fellowships and training – is vital for the innovation of Holocaust research and for the training of the next generation of Holocaust researchers and archivists. Through its outreach and public history activities, EHRI further ensures the meaningful remembrance of the Holocaust as a formative European experience.
Holocaust archives are an important part of European cultural heritage. The availability and accessibility of properly contextualised and researched documentation are vital to enable transnational research on the Holocaust as a local, European and universal phenomenon. Until 1989, Israel, the United States and Western Europe were the main centres for Holocaust research. Locating and researching Holocaust documentation in other parts of Europe is still difficult due to the wide dispersal of the archival source material in national, regional and local research infrastructures. As a result studying the Holocaust from a truly European perspective remains challenging.
By facilitating an extensive network of researchers and archivists, EHRI initiates new transnational and collaborative approaches to the study of the Holocaust. From the beginning, EHRI has invested in the integration of multiple disciplines – history, archival science and digital humanities. The development of innovative approaches to deal with digital content facilitates the processing of large amounts of data, which is conducive for new and enhanced research. By establishing working relationships with archivists and researchers active in related fields – Nazi crimes against non-Jewish victims’ groups, Genocide Studies – EHRI will maximise its reach and impact, and ensure that it benefits from insights gained in related fields.
EHRI particularly focuses on increasing visibility of local, peripheral and hidden archives, thereby facilitating local research into Jewish life during the Holocaust. This focus enables the study of the Holocaust from below, contributes to the strengthening of local community consciousness, and others educational opportunities at a local level. All these aspects are important given the increasing challenges to the memory of the Holocaust in Europe.
Online availability of Holocaust sources and research has relevance well beyond the walls of academia. The Holocaust continues to have enormous social, cultural and political resonance, and EHRI supports the democratisation of knowledge about the Holocaust, thereby contributing to the fight against Holocaust denial and ensuring that its lessons will never be forgotten.
EHRI has been working on integrating Holocaust-related sources and research documentation since 2010. The first phase was funded under FP7 and the current project is supported under Horizon 2020. More than twenty organisations – research institutions, libraries, archives, museums and memorial sites – form a core working group, but EHRI equally relies on the support of many other individuals and organisations in the broad fields of Holocaust studies and digital humanities.
By bringing together experts from different fields, and by building an innovative digital infrastructure supported by a large community, EHRI is a flagship project that showcases the opportunities for historical research in the digital age. EHRI aims at a relatively short Preparation Phase to prepare the financial, legal and the remaining technical aspects of the permanent RI. The Implementation Phase is foreseen in 2021 with the Operation Phase starting in 2022.
to be defined