The New Conny Kristel Fellowship Programme: Building Communities of Knowledge

EHRI fellows worldwide
Thursday, 2 July, 2020

In the autumn of 2020, EHRI will publish a new call for its Conny Kristel Fellowship Programme.

The Conny Kristel Fellowships (formerly EHRI Fellowships) provide scholarly and trans-national access to high-level research infrastructures within the EHRI consortium. In the past project phase, EHRI awarded fellowships at fifteen of its partner institutions to a total of 145 successful applicants, who came from all over the world.

"These materials [gathered during the EHRI Fellowship] gave me the possibility to complete 2 articles and my monograph.” Yuri Radchenko

The Conny Kristel Fellowship Programme remains central to EHRI’s new project phase. It will  enhance access to key Holocaust archives, collections and expertise as well as to know-how regarding archiving and digital humanities methods. Consequently, a large array of specialists in the field can benefit from the Fellowship Programme: Historians and Holocaust researchers, archivists but, also, local activists, museum curators, and staff members of memorial sites. Special attention will be given to applicants from countries without a long tradition of Holocaust research or who are affiliated to institutions that are not well integrated into the international Holocaust research community.

“The materials found at the Bildarchiv […] will help reaching beyond the Holocaust itself and allow a reflection on contemporary human rights issues and promoting tolerance and respect for cultural diversity.” Andrea Palasti

While the group of potential Conny Kristel Fellows remains largely the same, there are also some significant changes in this new phase of EHRI: Most importantly, the number of EHRI partner institutions offering Fellowships has increased to 21, including new partners like the University of Thessaloniki and the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv, Ukraine). Our programme covers housing and living expenses as well as travel to and from the hosting institution. The Fellowship Programme is flexible. It offers fellowships lasting from one to six weeks, and visits to several hosting institutions can be combined into one fellowship application.

“My work on the project at the Jewish Museum in Prague was highly comfortable. Conditions given to me were very favorable, which gives the opportunity to efficiently carry out my working plan.” Pavlo Khudish

In addition, each partner institution that hosts Conny Kristel Fellows will function as a research node. It will encourage and support the successful applicants to further expand their research networks and investigate materials found at other institutions within the host country. Thus, Conny Kristel Fellows will have access to multiple local research resources which will enable them to investigate their research topic in all its complexity. For the same reason, Conny Kristel Fellows will be able to participate in one-on-one meetings with experts on their topic from the host institution. All relevant information will be given to the fellows at the beginning of their stay so that they can familiarize themselves with the archival and research opportunities found on site. Furthermore, the Conny Kristel Fellows will have access to events (lectures, workshops, conferences) organized by the host institution during their stay, offering them the opportunity to enlarge their personal network of relevant contacts in their field of research. Last but not least, the Fellowship Programme offers the participants opportunities to develop their language skills, an important tool for a scholar who needs to work with documents in a foreign language.

“To meet the challenges of a proposed project to substantially increase the Sydney Jewish Museum collection, it was essential to enhance my skills in collection management practices and to consider the implications of online access so that our collection of Holocaust-related material can be used as a world-wide resource. […] I am sincerely grateful for the EHRI Fellowship which enabled me to have this unparalleled learning opportunity at the USHMM.” Roslyn Sugarman

These are just a few examples of how the Conny Kristel Fellowship Programme will connect people to a peer-group with shared interests and expertise, while at the same time providing access to large collections of archival resources as well as to diverse theoretical and methodological approaches. Beyond the individual and institutional impact, the Conny Kristel Fellowships will significantly nurture communities of knowledge with a strong emphasis on Holocaust research.

"The material gathered at the ITS in Bad Arolsen will serve as a primary source for two scientific articles which I intended to publish and present at various public talks […] I benefited from my research visit at the ITS greatly […]” Lidia Zessin-Jurek

In the autumn of 2020, a new call for the EHRI Conny Kristel Fellowship will be published on the EHRI website, and the various social media channels of EHRI and its partner institutions. A reputable panel of experts in Holocaust studies will evaluate the research proposals received and choose the first beneficiaries of the Kristel Fellowships in this new phase of the EHRI project. As in the past, we hope that our future Conny Kristel Fellows will gain new friendships, professional contacts, resources, and skills that will continue well beyond the weeks spent as a Conny Kristel Fellow.

Ana Barbulescu and Anna Ullrich

See the profiles of former EHRI Conny Kristel Fellows

Watch a video about EHRI’s Conny Kristel Fellowship network

In 2018, the EHRI Fellowship Programme was renamed the Conny Kristel Fellowship Programme in honour of the first EHRI Project Director, Conny Kristel, who sadly passed away that year. As a historian, Dr Kristel was known for her publications about the history of the persecution of the Jews, and her work about the Netherlands during the First World War. The will to fathom the origins and consequences of war violence, persecution and victimhood formed the core of all her work. As project director of EHRI, she made a significant contribution to the internationalization and innovation of Holocaust research.