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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Marks 20th Anniversary


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is marking two decades of honoring Holocaust memory and inspiring people to act against hatred and indifference. 

On 29 April, the Museum held a National Tribute to Holocaust Survivors and World War II Veterans at an historic gathering in Washington, DC. This event may be one of the last times the wartime generation gathers in such large numbers, with more than 840 survivors and 110 World War II veterans joining thousands of international guests, dignitaries and Museum partners to mark the milestone and challenge new generations to continue the Museum’s important work.

President Bill Clinton, who dedicated the Museum 20 years ago, began the day with a keynote address at the opening Tribute Ceremony, where he was joined by Museum Founding Chairman Elie Wiesel, current Chairman Tom A. Bernstein and Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield.

“Our mission today remains the same as it was thirty-five years ago when Congress mandated the creation of a living memorial to the Holocaust on our National Mall,” said Wiesel. “Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we must bear witness. We must carry the memories of the past—and the responsibility that comes with them—into the future.”

“In just 20 years the Museum has vastly exceeded the most optimistic hopes of our founders. But twenty years is only the start of our journey. Today the issues the Museum addresses—the fragility of democracy, the nature of hate and the consequences of indifference—are more important than ever. As the Museum honors Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans, we pledge to share their stories with new generations and ensure the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding and relevance,” said Museum Director Bloomfield.

To fulfill its mission of turning Holocaust memory into positive action, the Museum has launched a call to individuals around the world to take 20 actions to preserve Holocaust memory and make a difference in the world. Visit the Museum’s 20th anniversary website for more information.

20th Anniversary National Tribute Activities

To commemorate the 20th anniversary, the Museum has created a two-day tribute that includes:

• An April 28 National Tribute Dinner where the Museum awarded its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, to all World War II veterans, accepted on their behalf by Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of General Dwight D. Eisenhower; and to Wladyslaw Bartoszewski of Poland, as a representative of all rescuers,

• April 29 Tribute Ceremony honoring Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans,

• A day-long series of programming and activities highlighting the Museum’s impact and looking ahead to the future of its work,

• A preview of the Museum’s special exhibition, Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust, which opens to the public on April 30, 2013.

20th Anniversary National Tour

In addition to the National Tribute, the Museum is marking its 20th anniversary with a National Tour traveling to four US cities with some of the largest Holocaust survivor and World War II veteran populations. In visits to Boca Raton, Los Angeles and New York, the Museum reached 6,000 people, educating them about the Holocaust and its lessons, and honored 900 survivors and 150 veterans. A Chicago Tour stop is planned for June 9.

More information on the Museum’s 20th anniversary activities can be found at: