On 13 July 2023, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science submitted to the European Commission the Step 1 application for EHRI, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, to establish the project as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). “With this submission, we are well on our way towards EHRI transforming itself from a series of successful projects that have been running since 2010 into a permanent European organization that will help secure the future of trans-national Holocaust research, commemoration and education,” explains Dr. Reto Speck, Co-Director of EHRI.
EHRI – European Holocaust Research Infrastructure
Shortly before the Step 1 submission, the interim General Assembly (iGA) decided unanimously to approve all the necessary documents for this first part of the application process. The iGA comprises of representatives of the 11 prospective founding member countries of the ERIC and is the key committee that prepares and evaluates documentation for the process of establishing EHRI-ERIC. The Czech Republic takes part in the preparation process and is one of the countries that has showed its willingness to become a member state of the prospective EHRI-ERIC by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. On the Czech national level, services for EHRI are provided by Terezín Initiative Institute, Terezín Memorial, National Archives and led by Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The named institutes enriched for the funding period of the Czech large research infrastructures starting from 2023 an infrastructure LINDAT/CLARIAH-CZ. The Dutch NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies has been coordinator of the European projects and the Netherlands has been chosen as the hosting country of the ERIC.
EHRI portal provides online access to information about dispersed Holocaust related sources
The European Commission will assess the Step 1 application by obtaining the views of independent experts. It is expected that after 3 months, EHRI will be informed of the results of the assessment. Taking into account necessary modifications, EHRI will then prepare all necessary documents and progress to Step 2, which is a formal request to the Commission to set up the ERIC, signed by all future members of the ERIC. “After approval of the European Commission, EHRI will then be ready to establish itself as an ERIC,” says Reto Speck, “It is our sincere wish to launch EHRI-ERIC by January 2025, the 80th-anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.”