The Jewish Historical Institute collaborates with many recognized institutions in the world. One of such projects is the EHRI (the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure).
The EHRI project was set up on the initiative of the European Union, which has undertaken the funding within the funds for the co-ordination of scientific and academic research. In the fall of 2008 in Brussels, the inaugural meeting was held, at which I was present as a representative of the Jewish Historical Institute. At the time, research institutes, state archives, museums and institutions created to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust were invited to collaboration. The majority of them decided to take part in the EHRI, in which now there are involved 19 institutions from 13 countries (including, as the only institution outside the EU, Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem, without which it would be difficult to imagine a project like that).
The motto of the EHRI is „Connecting collections.” The aim of the project is therefore primarily to identify collections of documents relating to the Holocaust and to prepare their online catalog. The EHRI also hosts
summer schools (this year in Paris and Munich, and next year in Jerusalem and Amsterdam). In addition, the EHRI is the founder of the monthly and bimonthly scholarships to study in some of the institutions participating in the program.
In the EHRI workgroup no. 15 (”Identification and Investigation”) the representatives of the JHI are employees of the Archives: Michał Czajka and Monika Taras (her participation in the project was interrupted by maternity leave), whereas Magdalena Siek has taken part in the works of the workgroup no. 3 (’Access, Privacy and Copyright Policies „).
Our task within the scope of the workgroup no. 15 is to make lists of the institutions of the Eastern European countries that have collections thematically related to the Holocaust as well as to create lists of the archival units held in these institutions. On 16th May, 2013, our workgroup met at the JHI with the representatives of the Head Office of the State Archives and the Institute of National Remembrance in order to decide on the terms of inclusion of the information about the collections of the Polish archives in the EHRI database.
What is the EHRI?
The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure is a sort of consortium of institutes, museums and places of remembrance. JHI is the only Polish institution taking part in the project aimed at creating a common database of the Holocaust.
Who runs the EHRI?
For the coordination of the whole initiative is responsible NIOD-KNAW, the Institute for the Study of War, Holocaust and Genocide, operating under the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences.
Since when has the EHRI been operating and how long is it going to operate?
The inauguration of the EHRI took place on 1st October, 2010, and its activities are to be completed by 30th September, 2014. It is known, however, that the management of the EHRI is going to submit an application to the authorities of the European Union, to enable the operation of the EHRI also in the following years, within the next budget (as EHRI II). Currently, the budget of the project is 7 million euros.