The main theme of the conference is Oneg Shabbat and the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto. This collection is one of the most important testimonies about the Holocaust of Polish Jews – not only due to the diversity and documentary value of the collected materials. More than anything, it is a record of the Holocaust as seen by its victims. It consists of the documents gathered by the Oneg Shabbat, a group of people, founded by Emanuel Ringelblum, who documented the life and death of the Warsaw Ghetto.
the EHRI project
The EHRI project was launched as a European Union initiative, and financed through EU funds dedicated to supporting collaborative research. The first meeting took place in the fall of 2008 in Brussels. Scientific institutions, national archives, museums and organizations dedicated to commemorating the victims of the Holocaust were invited to join. EHRI’s inauguration took place in November 2010 in Brussels.
EHRI serves as a consortium, of sorts, for organizations, museums and places of remembrance. Its motto is “Connecting collections”. The goal is identifying sources relating to the Holocaust and creating an online catalogue. Summer Schools are organized as part of the project. Additionally EHRI provides month, and two-month long scholarships to support research in some of the organizations participating in the project.
The results of the EHRI project can be viewed online. The portal includes 3 main sections: information on individual countries, information on the institutions (mainly archives) possessing documents relating to the Holocaust, and archival descriptions. The organizational sections of the website are available in four languages (English, French, German and Polish) and the information on the 57 countries and 1892 institutions is available in English. Since the 152 692 archival descriptions were collected from many sources, this part of the website includes 13 different languages, with Polish being the second most used language after English, due to the large number of documents in Polish archives.
The EHRI project is currently finished, however, its participants have not ceased their work. The European Union has confirmed the EHRI II project, 2015–2020. The JHI participates in this project as well, this time on a larger scale. Apart from further work on informational databases, the JHI will invite scholarship recipients to come to Warsaw and study the documents in our collection.