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Tracing the Dislocation of a Sinti Family in a Genocidal Context: the R165 Collection of the German Federal Archives

EHRI Blog - November 2, 2022 - 9:37am
In September 1981, in the basement of the Tübingen University, German survivors of the Sinti and Roma genocide and remembrance activists captured the racial archives created by the scientific authorities under the Nazi regime to identify, deport and destroy their families.1 The documents seized were immediately given to the German Federal Archives. Today, this vast Read More

My Experience of Studying the Holocaust

EHRI Blog - October 6, 2022 - 11:28am
I was born in Kharkiv in 1950 and it is likely that I was the first Soviet historian to begin the study of the Holocaust, even though the subject was effectively banned. I was also the first who managed to publish articles on it – abroad. Since 1984, I have published twenty monographs and collections Read More

When Were Social Status and Social Ties Supporting Holocaust Survival Chances?

EHRI Blog - August 28, 2022 - 2:30pm
How Can Statistical Methods of Social Sciences Complement Historical Research? Seeing faces of individual victims of the Holocaust, such as those of the prisoners of the Theresienstadt ghetto displayed by the publicly accessible database developed by the Theresienstadt Initiative Institute, is a critical element of remembering and understanding the Holocaust. Such databases often provide a Read More

Exploratory Topic Modelling in Python

EHRI Blog - July 19, 2022 - 2:07pm
This post, originally entitled “Exploratory Topic Modelling Using R”, was first published by Mike Bryant in June 2016 on a now deactivated blog. We have since updated it to include more data and to explore similar tools in Python. The original blog post (Bryant, 2016) is still accessible through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Continuing Read More

Mapping the Archive: The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Refugee Map

EHRI Blog - June 2, 2022 - 2:31pm
‘Place is not only a fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it is also a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning.’1 Introduction The Wiener Holocaust Library is the UK’s largest archive of personal papers related to Jewish refugees from Read More

What can I do with this messy spreadsheet? Converting from Excel sheets to fully compliant EAD-XML files

EHRI Blog - April 25, 2022 - 10:57am
Many Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) face difficulties sharing their collections meta-data in standardised and sustainable ways due to the absence of in-house Information Technology (IT) support or capabilities 1. This situation means that staff rely on more familiar general purpose office programs like text processors, spreadsheets, or low-code databases. However, while these tools Read More

Methodological Nationalism in History Writing. Missing Locals of Slovakia

EHRI Blog - March 10, 2022 - 12:23pm
“The testimony you requested from the Fortunoff Video Archive cannot be viewed in Slovakia until 2026,” was the response we received when attempting to access a taped interview with a Jewish Holocaust witness from Sečovce (in Hungarian: Gálszécs), a small town in eastern Slovakia. A social historian of the Holocaust and an ethnographer who has Read More

“We spend our lives living in darkness, in cold, and often in hunger.” – Jewish Entreaties to Slovak President Jozef Tiso During the Holocaust

EHRI Blog - January 27, 2022 - 12:05pm
Thousands of Jews throughout Europe, facing a shrinking universe of options and increasingly desperate circumstances, wrote to the representatives of the very governments that were persecuting them to ask for clemency from anti-Semitic measures during the Holocaust. They employed a variety of rhetorical strategies in their appeals, hoping that their words would be sufficiently convincing Read More

Polish-Jewish Industrialists and Their Links to Loved Ones: An Analysis of the Correspondence of Dr Joseph Thon

EHRI Blog - December 14, 2021 - 4:42pm
On the morning of the 8th January 1959, Dr Joseph Thon passed away in the French Hospital, New York aged fifty-five with no spouse or children after a short illness.1 Born Joseph Teitelbaum in December 1903 in Żurawno, Poland (now Zhuravne in western Ukraine) Thon in his final years headed the tourist department for the Read More

Diplomatic Reports on the Holocaust – an EHRI Online Edition

EHRI Blog - November 18, 2021 - 5:17pm
In April of 1939, the American diplomat Ray Atherton, stationed in Sofia, reported to the Secretary of State that “there is no sympathy in Bulgaria for the anti-Jewish demonstrations of this organization ‚Workers of New Bulgaria‘,” which “is of foreign origin and is, it is believed, directly encouraged from Germany”.1 This assumption was mirrored by Read More

Left Behind – A Project Opening up Little Known Holocaust Histories as Well as New Tools

EHRI Blog - September 29, 2021 - 5:10pm
Almost half of the Jewish population of Belgium was murdered during the Holocaust. Complete families were wiped out, creating blind spots in the information available to reconstruct their stories in particular, but also certain aspects of the Belgian case in general. Personal documents of survivors and non-survivors thus become even more important to fill these Read More

“They became my children too”: The Multi-layered meanings of family letters from the Jewish Maquis in France

EHRI Blog - July 29, 2021 - 10:42am
Introduction On 6th June 1944, Robert Gamzon, the leader of the Jewish Scouts of France, wrote a letter to his wife, Denise Gamzon about a local underground scout group he’d visited. The group was situated near the southern French city of Castres, just across the Agout river from another team he had worked closely with Read More

The Lost Jews of Stettin: A Revealing Letter from 1942

EHRI Blog - June 2, 2021 - 11:15am
For the past four years, I’ve been working with Harvard Law School’s extensive collection of documents from all 13 Nuremberg trials. My role is to create metadata for prosecution and defense exhibits (and source documents) so that future searchers will be able to find each item when the whole collection is online. The collection has Read More

Talking about Sexualised Violence: The Presentation of Rape and Male Power in an Oral-History Interview

EHRI Blog - April 26, 2021 - 3:32pm
The Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is the biggest archive of oral-history interviews of Jews and other survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Trained volunteers have conducted more than 50,000 interviews from 1994 until today. The interviews were filmed and did not only focus on the period of the Holocaust Read More


EHRI Blog - March 17, 2021 - 3:30pm
The Institute for Formal and Applied Linguistics (UFAL) put together an experimental interface for the EHRI digital editions, a corpus framework called TEITOK, as an alternative to the current interface in Omeka. Where the current interface of EHRI based is centered around documents, TEITOK is centered around texts. In many aspects, the TEITOK interface for Read More

Attempting to Flee: The Correspondence of Dr Ernst Neustadt

EHRI Blog - January 26, 2021 - 11:16am
On 1st February 1946, Prof. J. B. Skemp, a Greek scholar and secretary of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL), an organisation designed to help academics at risk in occupied Europe, wrote a letter to Dr Ernst Neustadt addressed to 53 Belsize Park Gardens, London: ‘On going through our files, I Read More

Private Parcel Campaigns from Axis-allied Finland to the Ghettos of Nazi Occupied Poland

EHRI Blog - December 14, 2020 - 10:31am
During the death march in 1945, Nena Szlezynger, a Polish-Jewish seventeen-year-old girl, was marching with the inmates of a Silesian labour camp in Neusalz an der Oder towards Dresden. She was wearing a blue winter coat with a fur collar, a valued possession she had been able to keep for over two years after being Read More

Rescue and Parenting through Correspondence

EHRI Blog - November 2, 2020 - 10:56am
“I give you my treasure. I beg you – you are also a mother – to save my child. God will repay you for everything, and I will too (…). My child will bring you luck, you will see. I beg you, yourself a mother, to have mercy on my child (…).”1 Thus begins a Read More

Connecting the Records of the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission

EHRI Blog - September 28, 2020 - 12:43pm
“We were arrested at the Hungarian border and taken to the camp Stryi [a prisoner of war camp near Lviv in Ukraine], where we spent 12 days in prison. They brought a Jew to the camp, took everything he had, and gave him a rope to hang himself. The Germans didn’t pay attention to us Read More

More Watching, Less Searching: Repurposing Fortunoff Archive Metadata for Visual Searching

EHRI Blog - August 31, 2020 - 11:12am
The Fortunoff Video Archive For Holocaust Testimonies and the Yale Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) began building a Visual Search tool in 2019 in order to provide a simple overview of the Fortunoff Archive’s collection and enable quick filtering and discovery of relevant testimonies. Uninitiated researchers approaching Fortunoff’s collection, in particular undergraduate students tasked with using Read More


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