To our great sorrow Conny Kristel died of cancer on Saturday 6 October 2018. The NIOD community loses a loved and respected colleague, who has made unique contributions to the work and international reputation of the institute.
Historiography as mission
In 1998 Conny received her doctorate from the University of Amsterdam for her dissertation Geschiedschrijving als opdracht – Abel Herzberg, Jacques Presser en Loe de Jong over de Jodenvervolging [Historiography as mission – Abel Herzberg, Jacque Presser and Loe de Jong about the persecution of the Jews], which she wrote under the supervision of Hans Blom. Apart from the reference to the classical authors on the Shoa in the Netherlands, the title of her dissertation can also be seen as a reference to her own motives, especially to the big sense of responsibility with which she approached the social and scientific aspects of the profession. In 2016 she published a monograph on the Netherlands and the First World War, De oorlog van anderen [The war of others], and recently she wrote an introduction to a reissue of the work of the well-known Dutch historian of the Second World War, Loe de Jong, about the persecution of the Jews.
Important projects: EHRI and SOTO
At the NIOD she coordinated a number of important projects. Among these a big research programme issued by the Dutch government into the return and accommodation of war victims (SOTO). Since 2010 Conny was project director of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) project, an international consortium aiming to support the Holocaust research community by facilitating access to information about sources relating to the Holocaust. As EHRI project director Conny embodied NIOD’s ambition to be at the forefront of the internationalization of Holocaust research. One month ago, on 11 September, it was announced at a conference in Vienna that EHRI had been selected to become a permanent part of the European Research Infrastructure landscape, thus securing the future of Holocaust research in Europe.