"Light of Remembrance" for Sara J. Bloomfield, director of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Sara J. Bloomfield, the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has been awarded the highest recognition of the Auschwitz Memorial - the Light of Remembrance. The award was presented to her in Washington D.C. by the Director of the Auschwitz Museum, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński. Polish Ambassador to the United States Piotr Wilczek attended the ceremony.
‘Sara Bloomfield has been running the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for twenty years. Her influence on the development of this institution is, therefore, enormous - both in terms of the development of infrastructure as well as all new publications, presentations of excellent monograph temporary exhibitions, the creation of thousands of larger and smaller events, conferences, meetings, and commemorations,’ said Piotr Cywiński.
‘Behind all this stands a serious, courageous educational concept, directed not only towards young Americans. It is an attempt to face not only the legacy of the Holocaust but also much broader activities concerning many manifestations of genocide all over the world,' emphasized Piotr Cywiński.
'The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is at the forefront of the Holocaust memory movement, and the work of the Holocaust Museum would not be possible without our ongoing partnership with our many dedicated colleagues at the Auschwitz Museum. This award is very meaningful to us and is a fitting tribute to the very impressive professionals who work at both institutions,' said Sara Bloomfileld.
Sara Bloomfield has been the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1999. As part of her vision to build a global institution, she established the Museum’s Institute for Holocaust Documentation; the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education; the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies; and the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide.
Ms. Bloomfield has played a role in several international negotiations. In 2007, the Museum’s diplomatic efforts led to the opening of the largest closed Holocaust archive in the world, the International Tracing Service Archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany, which holds over 30 million pages of records on 17 million victims of Nazism. For the Museum’s 10th Anniversary, she obtained the first-ever loan of Anne Frank’s original writings, including parts of her diary. During the Balkan wars of the 1990s, working with U.S. diplomats, Croatian and Serbian officials, and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America, she negotiated an understanding to rescue endangered artifacts and archives that document the Holocaust in Croatia.
Ms. Bloomfield is a member of the International Auschwitz Council and has been a member of the board of the International Council of Museums/USA (ICOM/USA). She has been an advisor to museums around the world that address difficult history. In 2010, she received the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski.
The USHMM teaches the history and lessons of the Holocaust to audiences worldwide and inspires leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. A public-private partnership, the Museum has welcomed over 43 million visitors since it opened in 1993, including 100 heads of state. It reaches millions more every year through its outreach programs, traveling exhibitions, and multi-lingual web site, ushmm.org.
"Light of Remembrance", the award of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, is awarded to those who have made the most meritorious contributions to education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. Professor Władysław Bartoszewski, Krystyna Oleksy, Avner Shalev, and Serge Klarsfeld have been honored with this award so far.