Veerle Vanden Daelen, Leader of Work Package 15, Identification and Investigation


When the director of Ceges-Soma, Rudi Van Doorslaer, contacted me about EHRI last year, I was very enthusiastic to become part of the project. The work package I am coordinating identifies Holocaust-related sources. It delivers the content (the material) with which other work packages construct the EHRI infrastructure in order to make it accessible to the wider research community.

Jewish history and migration history have been the main focus points of my academic work over the last ten years. My PhD examined the return of Jewish life to Antwerp (Belgium) after the Second World War, and my postdoctoral research concerned Jewish life in Antwerp in the first half of the twentieth century. The history and ramifications of the Holocaust have always been very present in my research and teaching.

Joining EHRI will allow me to expand my focus to all of Europe and to contribute to the facilities for further research. I am very excited about the international nature of this project. I have my office at Ceges-Soma (Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society) in Brussels, but the other partners within Work Package 15 are in Jerusalem, London, Munich, and Warsaw.

The input and expertise from these different perspectives will be greatly beneficial to the success of EHRI. Teleconferencing will help me work with colleagues throughout Europe, but I will also be doing some work-related traveling, which I very much enjoy, as long as I manage to have some time left over for building sand castles, looking for sticks in the garden, working on train tracks, and other such activities – in short, for quality time with my husband and our two sons (a three-year-old and a five-month-old). I also play violin in two chamber orchestras (nothing professional or fancy, but lots of fun).

EHRI Newsletter, July 2011