Second Hungarian Visual History Archive Access Site Opens at Eötvös Loránd University

Thu, 10/17/2013 - 4:03pm

Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest is now the second Visual History Archive access site in Hungary and the 45th in the world.

USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education’s Visual History Archive contains 52,000 testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. The testimonies were conducted in 57 countries and in 33 languages. The 45 full access sites are located in 12 countries; there are 195 sites in 31 countries with partial access. The Visual History Archive has been used to teach 370 college courses around the world.

The archive is made accessible at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) through the support of the George W. Schaeffer Family Foundation, whose donation covers the archive’s subscription fee for the next three years.

“ELTE considers it of primary importance to step up against social exclusion, radical extreme ideologies and all forms of discrimination and is committed to strengthening tolerance towards religious, ethnic and all other forms of otherness,” ELTE said in a press release. “The Institute believes that the archive will contribute to mutual respect and acceptance not only within but outside the university walls as well.”

ELTE celebrated the launch at a ceremony Oct. 17, which was attended by the USC Shoah Foundation delegation currently on a mission in Eastern Europe. ELTE vice chancellor Andras Karacsony and USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith gave remarks, and a presentation titled “20th Century in 20 Minutes” introduced the Visual History Archive and the use of testimonies in education.

In addition, ELTE presented George W. Schaeffer with the ELTE Senate Medal in honor of his support of ELTE’s Visual History Archive. The Senate Medal is awarded to individuals whose activities highly contribute to the development of the university’s education, research and international relationships.

Smith is blogging about the Eastern European mission on The Times of Israel. Read his first blog post here. In his second blog post, Smith describes a lively class discussion he observed at Daniel Berzsenyi High School in Budapest this week, in which the students spoke honestly about the role of bystanders in bullying and events like the Holocaust.

The Foreign Ministry of Hungary hosted a reception to honor the USC Shoah Foundation delegation at the Foreign Ministry Institute.

Following the ceremony, USC Shoah Foundation and ELTE leaders met with the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office. In the photo below from left: Kim Simon, managing director USC Shoah Foundation; Zsigmond Perényi, chief advisor, Prime Minister's office; Péter Gottfried, chief advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs; Krisztina Borsfay, assistant lecturer, ELTE University; Stephen Smith, executive director, USC Shoah Foundation; Monika Kovács, associate professor, ELTE University; Martin Šmok, senior international program consultant, USC Shoah Foundation; and Andrea Szönyi, senior international training consultant, USC Shoah Foundation.

USC Shoah Foundation and ELTE representatives meet with the prime minister's office in Budapest.