HOME
The Info List - Miles Lerman


--- Advertisement ---



(i)

MILES LERMAN (1920 – January 22, 2008) was a Polish -born American who helped to plan and create the United States
United States
Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the memorial at the Bełżec extermination camp . Lerman, a Holocaust survivor himself, had fought as a Jewish
Jewish
resistance fighter during World War II
World War II
in Nazi German occupied Poland
Poland
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life * 2 United States
United States
Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Museum * 3 Death * 4 References * 5 External links

EARLY LIFE

Lerman was born as SZMUEL MILEK LERMAN in Tomaszów Lubelski , Poland , in 1920. His parents were Israel and Yochevet Feldzon Lerman and he was one of five children. His mother, Yochevet, owned an import and export grocery business. His father, Israel, owned several businesses throughout eastern Poland, including several flour mills in Eastern Poland
Poland
and wholesale liquor and gasoline businesses.

Lerman and his family fled to the city of Lwów following the Nazi invasion of Poland
Poland
in 1939. In 1941 Lerman was captured and sent to the Vinniki forced labor camp . However, he managed to escape the camp. He spent the next 23 months as a Jewish
Jewish
resistance fighter hidden in the forests surrounding Lwów.

He went to the Polish city of Łódź following the end of the war. There he met his wife, Krysia Rozalia Laks, whom he married in a Displaced Persons camp . The couple emigrated together to the United States in 1947.

Lerman arrived in New York City
New York City
in 1947 before moving to Vineland, New Jersey , in 1948. Lerman purchased a poultry farm in Vineland. He also started a series of successful real estate , gasoline and heating businesses.

UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM

Miles Lerman's involvement with the United States
United States
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum can be traced to 1979. That year, United States
United States
President Jimmy Carter named Lerman to the President’s Commission advisory board on the Holocaust
Holocaust
. One of the Commission's main tasks was the creation of a museum dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust.

The United States
United States
Congress passed a legislation granting land on the National Mall
National Mall
in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
for the purpose of building the museum. However, all funds for the construction of the museum had to be raised privately.

Lerman, who became chairman of the Campaign to Remember , and the committee managed to raise $190 million in order to construct and endow the United States
United States
Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Museum. He also served simultaneously as the chairman of the future museum's International Relations Committee, which was charged with negotiating with Eastern European nations in order to obtain artifacts focusing on Jewish
Jewish
life and the Holocaust
Holocaust
for the museum's permanent collection. Lerman's IR Committee managed to obtain a number of important artifacts, including actual barracks from the Birkenau concentration camp , a railroad boxcar used to transport Jewish
Jewish
prisoners to Treblinka
Treblinka
, over 5,000 shoes from Majdanek
Majdanek
and various toothbrushes, suitcases and other personal items from Auschwitz
Auschwitz
.

Lerman served as chairman of the United States
United States
Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Museum's governing board from the time of its opening on April 22, 1993, until he left the museum in 2000. Additionally, Lerman helped to found the museum's Committee on Conscience , which works to draw attention to contemporary genocide issues, such as the current Darfur crisis .

Lerman, who spoke several languages, returned to his native Poland following his departure from the museum in 2000. There he campaigned for a proper memorial for his family members (both his parents perished in Belzec), as well as the other estimated 500,000 Jews who died at the Belzec extermination camp . The existing Communist era memorial, which stood in a former garbage dump, made no mention of Jewish
Jewish
Holocaust
Holocaust
victims. Lerman raised approximately 5 million dollars to build a new memorial by teaming up with the Polish government and the American Jewish
Jewish
Committee .

Miles Lerman
Miles Lerman
spoke at the dedication of the new Belzec memorial, which was held on June 3, 2004, telling the story of 9 year old Deborah Katz, one of the death camp's estimated 500,000 to 600,000 victims.

DEATH