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Centropa – Zentrum für jüdische Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts

Centropa is a non-profit, Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and disseminating these stories and photos through films, books and exhibitions.

Our main office is in Vienna. We also have offices in Budapest, Hamburg and Washington DC.

In July, 2012, The Israel Broadcasting Authority produced a five minute report on Centropa and our Summer Academy. Click here to watch it.

Among other activities such as educational Programs, exhibitions, Publications, and Café Centropa since 2000, Centropa has interviewed 1,200 elderly Jews still living in the 15 countries between the Baltic and the Aegean (from Estonia and Russia to Greece and Turkey), but we never used video nor did we focus primarily on the Holocaust. You can download the full list of interviews and scanned pictures here.

Instead, we collected and digitized thousands of family photos. Our interviewers spent up to twenty hours with each respondent, asking them to paint for us a picture of the world they grew up in – as well as the world they rebuilt for their families after the war (we also dutifully record everything our respondents wish to share with us about the Shoah).

Centropa’s publications come in two forms: books and ebooks. Centropa’s ebooks are downloadable, digital versions of Centropa interviews illustrated with old family photographs collected from the interviews. With the questions taken out and the narrative put in chronological order, you will be able to follow the stories of these individuals from beginning to end, in their own words. Teachers use these ebooks in class, and general readers enjoy their ease of access. They are in PDF format, and can be saved onto computers or tablets. 

The printed Centropa Jewish source books were made for the Centropa Summer Academies: they include the short history, famous people and events froma  certain country, as well as essays and a collection of interviews and photographs from the Centropa database. These sourcebooks are available and can be ordered through office@centropa.org.

To browse all the Centropa publications, click here: http://www.centropa.org/publications

In Germany, you will find them in this address:

Axel Springer Platz 3 (20355 Hamburg)