A consortium of seven archive and research institutes from Europe and Israel received in 2015 a grant from The Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe and Claims Conference for the two-year digitization project Jewish Council Archives in Europe. The project brought important – and in some cases still unexploited – archival collections on Jewish Councils and Associations from Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, and Netherland together.
During the Second World War, Jewish Councils or Associations were established throughout Europe. They functioned as representative bodies for local, regional and national Jewish communities and, as such, were sometimes closely involved by the German occupier in the execution of the extermination policy of the Nazis.
Archives of the Jewish Council are one of the most important sources of information about the Jewish community life during the Second World War and contain valuable information about the day-to-day proceedings of the Holocaust.
Eastern and Central Europe
The project included some relatively unexploited, important archives from Eastern and Central Europe. The Nazi persecution was a European-wide phenomenon. By including collections from Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic the project Jewish Council Archives in Europe aimed to stimulate research into the Holocaust in Eastern and Central Europe.
The project consortium consisted of seven partners from seven different countries: Hungarian Jewish Archives, Jewish Historical Institute (Poland), Jewish Museum in Prague (Czech Republic), Kazerne Dossin (Belgium), National Archives of Finland, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Netherlands) and Yad Vashem (Israel). NIOD acted as coordinator.
The project Jewish Council Archives in Europe not only conserved and digitized the collections, but also improved accessibility of the collections and prepared them for online publications. By opening up these collections within local systems and through dedicated portals such as EHRI, new and more advanced research on the functioning of Jewish Councils in Europe has been facilitated.
Hungarian Jewish Archives:
Jewish Historical Institute:
Jewish Museum in Prague:
National Archives of Finland:
A part of the documentation is accessible to the public in the NIOD reading room
The documentation is accessible to the public in the Yad Vashem reading room.
Information about the funding organisations:
In appreciation to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) for supporting this archival project. Through recovering the assets of the victims of the Holocaust, the Claims Conference enables organizations around the world to provide education about the Shoah and to preserve the memory of those who perished.