A huge and important new archives and research project was launched yesterday by the EU in Brussels. The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) is to date the most important European research project about Holocaust documentation.
Avner Shalev, the Chairman of Yad Vashem noted that, “The establishment of EHRI is especially important as different historical narratives are competing in Europe. Through EHRI Europe is stating its understanding that the Holocaust has unique standing in the joint European historical narrative.”
Lead by the Dutch organization NIOD (The Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam), EHRI is a project of the European Union that will be a source of information for researchers and educators around the world. Yad Vashem has been active in this project since its inception, and is playing a leading role in the various sub-projects that make up EHRI. Working projects will focus on creating a shared thesaurus of 5,000 keywords to allow unified searches across collections that contain millions of documents in numerous languages, encouraging research by creating a network among experts in various 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 scholarships for researchers to study at Yad Vashem and at other archives.
With 20 partner organizations, from 13 European countries including Israel, the 4-year, 7 million euro project, is a part of the EU’s research program FP7, in which Israel is a partner.
Here's a piece from the Jerusalem Post about yesterday's launch: Europe launches new Shoah project in Brussels