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The EHRI document blog is a space to share ideas about Holocaust-related archival documents, and their presentation and interpretation using digital tools.
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A wartime diary of two Dutch Jews in hiding

July 31, 2018 - 5:15pm
“[T]he moment on 10 September 1942 we stepped out of the train in Aalten, I thought: ‘Is the war still going on? Does the persecution of the Jews still exist? Here, everything is so quiet and so different from what... Continue reading →

Correspondence Across Ghetto Walls

July 10, 2018 - 9:56am
Officially censored postcards addressed from or to the Terezín (Theresienstadt) Ghetto, are items that are well-represented in the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague. Correspondence, which was the only option inmates had of communicating with the outside world, was... Continue reading →

The Learning Curve in Sharing Data with the EHRI Project: The Example of a Memorial Site, Kazerne Dossin, Mechelen

June 19, 2018 - 2:46pm
Kazerne Dossin – Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights opened its doors on 1st December 2012. The institute inherited its archival collections from its predecessor, the Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance (JMDR). The JMDR had... Continue reading →

Person Records Linking in the USHMM Survivors and Victims Database

May 29, 2018 - 9:45am
Archivists, historians and relatives of people who’ve been involved in the Holocaust all struggle with the same problem when exploring the vast sea of data related to that epoch – they are not able to obtain all documents related to... Continue reading →

Lotte Porges – The Story Behind the Photograph

May 8, 2018 - 9:05am
Between the years 1942–1945, three different staged films were created in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Ghetto. Only a few short shots or fragments of the original versions have been preserved.[1] The most famous of these became the propaganda film Theresienstadt. Ein... Continue reading →

Cooperation of Rescue Organisations in Vienna: An Eyewitness Report

April 17, 2018 - 10:56am
Introduction The following document is part of The Wiener Library’s collection entitled ‘Eyewitness reports regarding the November Pogrom’, consisting of 365 eyewitness testimonies collected in the days, weeks, and months following the November Pogrom of 1938, alternatively known as ‘Kristallnacht’... Continue reading →

quod: A Tool for Querying and Organising Digitised Historical Documents

March 29, 2018 - 12:57pm
In this blog post we introduce a prototype tool for OCRing and querying digitised historical documents, quod, which can be used for organising large collections of such documents.The work described represents a proof of concept, where the feasibility of the... Continue reading →

The Haupt Family Documents

March 5, 2018 - 11:00am
As an archival researcher at Yad Vashem, I often try to fill in the missing information from various sources. In the framework of the EHRI fellowship, I spent two weeks in the Jewish Historical Institute (Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, ŻIH) in... Continue reading →

Using Wikidata to build an authority list of Holocaust-era ghettos

February 12, 2018 - 3:43pm
Introduction In the spring of 2017, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI, work package 11) began a pilot project to link the EHRI ghettos vocabulary set with Wikidata. One of the primary objectives of work package 11 is to build... Continue reading →

Engaging the Crowd with Holocaust Oral Testimonies

January 26, 2018 - 3:32pm
With over 22,000 hours of audio and video testimony in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s collection and available online, we face a search and discoverability problem. Visitors to the collection can only find certain interviews by sheer luck or... Continue reading →

Visualising Methodology in The Wiener Library’s Early Testimony’s Project

January 16, 2018 - 10:53am
Introduction “We all have a duty to fulfil towards our past,” implored Dr Eva Reichmann, former Director of Research at The Wiener Library, in a short front-page appeal in the journal of Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain in... Continue reading →

The 1948 Genocide-Convention: Raphael Lemkins struggle for the ‘law of the world’

December 8, 2017 - 1:32pm
On 9 December 1948 the ‘Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). Getting the topic onto international agenda and the ratification of the document, however,... Continue reading →

Death Blows Overhead: The Last Transports from Hungary, November 1944

November 23, 2017 - 10:21am
Introduction In the morning of November 6, 1944, a column of civilians set off on the highway stretching westwards from Budapest to Vienna. All of them were Jews, mostly middle-aged and elderly women and men, forcibly mobilised by the Hungarian... Continue reading →

Forced Labourers and the Water Works Camps in the Lublin District

October 23, 2017 - 9:55am
Depicting non-industrial forced labour: The example of water works camps in the Lublin district The photograph depicts a rarely discussed topic in Holocaust historiography: The daily life of Jewish forced labourers in early water works camps (Wasserwirtschaftslager) in the Lublin... Continue reading →

Online Finding Aid on Nazi Camp History

October 2, 2017 - 1:16pm
An old finding aid regarding general information on incarceration and persecution sites of the Nazi Regime was published on the EHRI portal in May 2016. The physical finding aid – a card index – had been gradually compiled between the... Continue reading →

Card File of the Jewish Population in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia

September 11, 2017 - 10:27am
Preserved remnants of registration card files of Jews in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia open important questions of the state of Holocaust documentation as well as of the deployment of modern technology in registering and deporting European Jews. This post... Continue reading →

“In the Country of Numbers”: Gerardo Nassau’s unpublished memoir of Sachsenhausen

August 21, 2017 - 5:13pm
Preface On the night of 9-10 November 1938, SA and Hitler Youth units took to the streets of Germany and, in plain view, set synagogues on fire, smashed the window fronts of Jewish businesses, attacked Jewish people, and vandalized their... Continue reading →

Murdered on the Verge of Survival: Massacres in the Last Days of the Siege of Budapest, 1945 Part II

July 5, 2017 - 2:27pm
Part II: The Profile of the Perpetrators Introduction Part I of the present blog post provided the readers with an overview of one of the last and bloodiest crimes committed by Hungarian extremist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest at the... Continue reading →

Alter Ogień Testimony – the earliest testimony in the ŻIH collection

June 24, 2017 - 11:01am
On August 29th, 1944, a group of Holocaust survivors gathered in Lublin to set up the Commission for the History of the Jews. It took place a month after Lublin was liberated from German occupation. The Jews living there had... Continue reading →

Yiddish play manuscript draws attention to early Holocaust commemoration in Finland

May 15, 2017 - 11:31am
In 2005, when I was working at the National Archives of Finland, I was commissioned to do an inventory of archival material found in a cellar of a building owned by the Jewish Community of Helsinki. Amidst thousands of documents,... Continue reading →

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