Centropa is the signature project of the Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation, a US-based non-profit corporation (Federal Tax ID 58-1970-134) with its general headquarters in Vienna, and its historical review office in Budapest.

We are an international team of historians, filmmakers, web designers, journalists, educators, photographers and Jewish community activists. Our goal is to create a window into Jewish history, and current events, in Central and Eastern Europe the former Soviet Union, and Turkey & the Balkans. By marrying together the newest technologies and serious research methods, we want to take Jewish history off the shelf, and bring it into your homes, classrooms, synagogues, libraries, book clubs and organizations. Whether you are Jewish or not, from North America, Europe or the Middle East, we are confident that you will find our site interesting and stimulating.

Our largest project is Witness to a Jewish Century, a searchable online library of Jewish family pictures, and the memories that go with them. Right now, more than sixty-five Centropa interviewers are visiting elderly Jews still living in this region, and asking them to share with us their precious family photographs, and their stories about the people in those photographs. While we would be happy for you to look for your own family, think of Witness as your own tool for creating custom made files on everyday Jewish life before, during, as well as after, the Holocaust. is our online magazine of travel tips, cooking recipes, short stories, memoirs and historical essays. Please feel free to add your comments to our cooking pages, as well as the open forums we have for travel tips and book reviews.

To give us your feedback, please click here. We will respond to every email as soon as we can.

Thanks for visiting us. Come back soon, and often.

Edward Serotta
  Centropa Report Contributors:
   Ruth Ellen Gruber, who was born in Philadelphia, has lived in Europe for many years, and divides her time between Hungary and Italy. Aside from contributing articles to the New York Times and other publications, Ruth is the Senior European Correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Ruth has written three books on Jewish Europe, �Upon the Doorposts of Thy House,� �Jewish Heritage Travel,� and �Virtually Jewish.�   
   John Marks writes books reviews for Centropa. Born in Dallas, John graduated from Davidson University in North Carolina. John spent five years in Berlin as the bureau chief for US News and World Report before becoming a producer at Sixty Minutes. John is the author of two works of fiction, The Wall, and the forthcoming The Blue Age, to be published by Riverhead. John is married to novelist Debra Immergut and lives in New York.   
Dejan Petrovic IT Specialist and Designer. Dejan hails from Novi Sad, Serbia, and after graduating from the University of Belgrade, became the director for cultural projects in the Belgrade Jewish Community Center. Dejan was Centropa's first employee, and is responsible for creating our first photo databases. Since 2003 Dejan has designed all of Centropa's PR materials and also acts as a design consultant to the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

Edward Serotta Edward Serotta, our director, was born in Savannah, Georgia. He has three books and four films to his credit and has specialized in Jewish issues in Central and Eastern Europe for the past twenty years. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, TIME and Die Zeit on Jewish matters, and lectures frequently in Europe and the US.

Bernd Renner New Media programs. Bernd, who was born in eastern Austria, is just completing his university degree in Vienna in Photography and New Media. Bernd is responsible for creating our new media projects, specifically our interactive, DVD-based documentary films.

Veronika Doppelreiter and Monika Patry are our bookkeeper and secretary. Both were employed at El Al Airlines here in Vienna, and Veronika, who works as a full charge bookkeeper, was previously employed by the Austrian Internal Revenue Service.

Anna Medovaia and Evgeni Gretscho are our two interns. Anna, who is from Moscow, is studying for her master's degree in European Integration at Vienna University and is our researcher on our Soviet Jewish soldiers project. Evgeni Gretscho, from Brest-Litovsk, is studying for his bachelor's degree at the Lauder Business College. Evgeni works as an assitant to Dejan and Bernd, carries out all our scanning, and is now administering the content of our websites.

Andrea Schellner is the chief copy editor for Centropa as well as our English to German translator. Andrea, who was born in Austria, lives in Nairobi, Kenya, where she worked as a freelance journalist before coming to work for Centropa in 2003. Andrea also works with Richard on glossary terms and historical fact checking.

Tanja Eckstein is Centropa's only interviewer in Austria, and Tanja, who was born in Berlin, works for us full-time and as of the summer of 2005, had completed more than 75 interviews. Tanja works with our Austrian coordinator, Rudolf Jelinek, a freelance journalist and editor.
A unique cooperative venture between the Bulgarian Photographers' Association and Shalom: The Organization of Jews in Bulgaria. The project was conceived by Boris Missirkov, a photographer and filmmaker. Boris had worked for the Spielberg Foundation as a camera operator and became fascinated with the subject or oral histories. Nelly Roussova, business manager of BPA, is our project coordinator, and we rely on a team of highly qualified interviewers to carry out the work as well as a network of historical researchers who review each completed interview.
   Martin Korcok (standing on right) was born in Kosice. He received his Master's Degree in Ethnology from the University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, specializing in Slovak Jewish history. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology Studies. Since 2003, he has been working as a curator at the Slovak National Museum � Museum of Jewish Culture. Martin lectures on Jewish culture and Judaism at several Slovak universities and contributes articles to scientific reviews that focus on minority cultures in Slovakia. At Centropa he is responsible for coordinating research in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.   
Dr. Alexandr Dusman leads our project in Estonia. Trained as a mining specialist, Alexandr is the chairman of board of the Council of the Jewish Community of Estonia, and a member of the negotiating team of the Foreign Ministry regarding Estonia's entrance to the European Union.

Eszter Andor was born in Budapest. Her first degree is in English language and literature from Janus Pannonius University, P�cs. She completed her MA in history at Central European University (CEU), where she focused on Hungarian Jewish social history. Her MA thesis, defended in 1996 examined Jewish educational strategies in Hungary at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1996 she received a one-year scholarship to pursue a diploma program at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. Her dissertation in this program looked at Hungarian Jewish immigration experience in Great Britain through life history interviews conducted with Hungarian Jews living in London. She started her PhD in history in 1999 at the CEU. From 1997 to 2001, she also worked as Jewish Studies coordinator at the CEU. She has been working in Centropa since 2000.

Dora S�rdi was born in Budapest in 1974. In 1999 she received her MA in Hungarian language and literature from the E�tv�s L�r�nd University faculty of Humanities in Budapest. The theme of her dissertation was: Hungarian-Jewish literature at the turn of the 20th century with especial focus on countryside Jewry. �In 2000 she received her BA in Jewish studies from the same University. She attended two summer courses on CEU University, received her diploma there on Jewish history in the first half of the 20th century in Central Europe. She is a PhD student since 2000 she is working on her thesis topic: Comparing oral history interviews to novel about the interwar Jewish history in Hungary. She had a few article on Jewish-Hungarian literature. Since 2000 she is the co-director at Centropa she is responsible for all methodological concepts, for reviewing Hungarian interviews and for the Hungarian language website.

Judit L�derer was born in Budapest and attended the Faculty of Humanities of E�tv�s Lor�nd University, Budapest where she studied French and Italian literature and linguistics. She graduated in 1995. Judit worked as a teacher and cultural organizer for several Hungarian theaters and festivals. Judit acts as the coordinator of Centropa's Budapest office and manages our Hungarian language website.

Our project is being administered by the Center for Jewish Studies at Riga University, where Professor Ruben Ferber is the director. Ruven is a nuclear physicist who has been awarded the Alexandar von Humbolt Prize in Germany and is a member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Ruben has also studied Jewish history extensively since 1992 and now specializes in Jewish thought and history. Our administrator is Aina Antane, the Executive Director for the Center for Judaic Studies at University of Latvia. Aina's specialty is the comparative study of inter-ethnic relations and minority rights in inter-war Latvia and today, stereotypes and ethnic prejudices, hate speech; ethnic integration; and the history and culture of Jews in Latvia.
Dr. Ilja Lempertas administers our program in Vilnius. He works in conjunction with Roza Bieliauskiene, who directs the Jewish Museum, and Simonis Dovidavicius, who lives and conducts our interviews in Kaunas.
Anka Grupinska was born in Koszalin, Poland and graduated from Poznan University. A political activist during Solidarity's underground days, after 1989, Anka was asked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to act as Poland's first cultural attach� in Israel, where she remained until 1995. Anka is the author of three books on Polish Jewish history, a journalist and a university lecturer in Warsaw.

Our projects in Poland are underwritten primarily by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, with additional support from Simone Beigelman and Riva Berelson, and the National Cultural Institute of Poland.
Ildiko Molnar, lives in the Transylvanian city of Targu Mures and coordinates a team of a dozen interviewers throughout Romania. Upon completing her studies in Jewish history in Cluj Napoca, Ildiko began working for us full-time. Ildiko is also one of our best interviewers, and we send Ildiko to our various countries to conduct our training seminars.

   Natalia Gordina was born in Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1944. She graduated from the State University of Leningrad as Mathematician and worked in applied computer programming. After 1991 Natalia began working for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, where she spent nine years, seven as deputy director. Since 2002 Natalia has worked with the Adain Lo Jewish Community Center in St Petersburg, where she coordinates Centropa's projects.   

Ida Labudovic directs our program there. Ida is the Director of Cultural Programs at the Belgrade Jewish Community Center. Ida studied ethnology and anthropology at Belgrade University and came to our attention because of a book she authored on Serbian Jewish family histories.
Karen Gerson Sarhon was born in Istanbul. She graduated from Bogazi�i University in 1980 with a BA on English Language and Literature; then went on for an MA in Social Psychology at the same university; then completed an MA on Applied Linguistics at Reading University (UK)(1986). She worked as a member of the Testing Office at Bogazi�i University for 20 years, then retired. Karen became the coordinator of the Ottoman-Turkish Sephardic Culture Research Center in 2003. Karen is responsible for the Centropa project in Turkey and has assembled our largest and most active team to date, with 20 people now employed for us part-time.
Our Ukraine projects are administered in Kiev, Lviv (Lemberg), Cernovsty (Czernowitz) and Odessa by the Institute for Jewish Studies in Kiev, which is directed by Leonid Finberg. Leonid received his doctorate in Jewish History in Kiev and has edited more than twenty books on Ukrainian and Russian Jewish history. Our full time project director is Marina Karelstein, who coordinated the Shoah Foundation interviews in Ukraine and Moldava and was the regional coordinator for the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.