Austria Has First Official Founding National Consortium: EHRI-AT

EHRI Austria
Thursday, 28 March, 2024

Austria Strengthens International Research into the Holocaust with a National Consortium

Since 2010, EHRI's central task has been to enable and support transnational research into the Holocaust. With the official founding of EHRI-AT in February 2024, Austrian Holocaust research has taken an important step towards the creation of a permanent European research infrastructure.

“The founding of EHRI-AT represents an important milestone for Holocaust research in Austria. At a time when the memory of the horrors of National Socialism is increasingly threatening to fade, the scientific research of this dark period of history is very valuable. Not in the least because the latest figures about the sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Austria underline how important it is to address this issue. By bringing together archives, museums, memorial institutions and research institutions, EHRI-AT creates an indispensable platform for access to source material and the exchange of specialist knowledge. This scientific approach not only enables a deep understanding of the complexity of the events during the Holocaust, but also a reflective examination of the causes and consequences of the Nazi regime,” said Martin Polaschek, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research.

The Austrian consortium EHRI-AT will build on the work of the international EHRI  consortium and network of archives, museums, memorial institutions and research institutions.

The international  EHRI-projects, EHRI-IP and EHRI-3, are about to transform into a permanent organisation, EHRI-ERIC with a network of national consortia supporting it. Austria now has the first official national EHRI consortium with its own website. Several other countries are following.

The Austrian national consortium is coordinated by the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI). Interested partner institutions in Austria can become members of EHRI-AT.

The partner institutions of the Austrian founding consortium EHRI-AT are:

An international network for exchange between archives, museums, memorial institutions and research institutions was precisely also a concern of Simon Wiesenthal, as he wrote in the Bulletin des Dokumentationszentrum des Bundes jüdischer Verfolgter des Naziregimes in 1969:

“21. List of archives with material about the Nazi era
A second list, namely that of the archives, drawn up by country, with information about the contents of the archives, is being prepared and will be sent to interested parties by country. We have so far completed the lists of archives in Czechoslovakia, Israel and West Germany. When the work is completed, the documentation center will issue a special brochure. This will benefit both courts and historians and researchers, because when we give the address of the archive we try to also indicate what type of documents it contains.”

Éva Kovács, Deputy Director of Science at VWI:
“EHRI Austria was founded as one of the first national consortia and covers a broad spectrum of Holocaust research in Austria. In addition, EHRI-AT strives to give the Central and Eastern European region, where the Holocaust took place, as much visibility as possible within the research infrastructure, and will support regional research collaborations and methodological innovations."

Read the official press release by the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Research.

Images: courtesy of VWI