New database to strengthen Holocaust research

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem

A database bringing together documents on the Holocaust from across Europe is to be launched next week.

The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI), which has cost more than £6 million, will collate archive and research material on the Nazis from Israel and 12 European countries.

The information, from millions of documents, will be searchable through 5,000 keywords.

Israel’s education minister, Gideon Sa’ar, will be in Belgium for the project's opening on November 16.

He will be joined by Avner Shalev, the chairman of Holocaust museum Yad Vashem, as well as dignitaries including Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council.

The EHRI is intended to give researchers easier access to the vast array of information on the Holocaust and the Nazi era and help them put together “what happened, when and to whom.”

Yad Vashem has been involved in the project, which has been led by the Amsterdam Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, since its inception.

Mr Shalev said the EHRI shows a European understanding “that the Holocaust has unique standing in the joint European historical narrative.”

He added: “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.

“To begin to piece together what happened, information that is located in numerous archives throughout Europe must be connected.”

    Last updated: 11:34am, November 9 2010