The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) has published an online edition of early Holocaust testimonies

Contrary to popular belief, the Holocaust was not surrounded by silence after the end of World War II. A new online edition of Early Holocaust Testimonies published by EHRI shows how Jewish survivors and activists created a unique set of documents at a time when the memory of persecution was still immediate and unprocessed. Even before they established new homes, often still suffering from illness, and while searching for their relatives, survivors documented the deportations, the murder of their families and communities, and recorded the names of the perpetrators.

An estimated 18,000 testimonies were recorded in Europe, Palestine/Israel, the United States and elsewhere. Some were collected in large-scale documentation projects, others were initiated by individuals who paid tribute to destroyed Jewish communities. Some of the testimonies were based on a sophisticated methodology, while others were created with limited knowledge and only brief preparation.

For the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI), early documentation of the Holocaust is a crucial topic, consistent with a critical approach to Holocaust sources and their history, as well as a focus on documents produced by 'victims'. In the Czech Republic, the Jewish Museum in Prague, in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and the Archives of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, participated in the preparation of the edition.

The EHRI edition of early Holocaust testimonies makes available 89 carefully selected and edited documents, drawing attention to the lack of interest in the large number of available testimonies. It links documents from several countries and preserved in five archives: the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, the Hungarian Jewish Archives in Budapest, and the Jewish Museum in Prague. In addition to the English translation, the edition includes all documents in their original languages. The digital platform allows the edition to be further developed in the future and EHRI will add more testimonies to it.

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