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Thursday, November 16, 2000



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WASHINGTON, DC, November 17 -- Officials from the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad presented to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum the newly revised and just published English translation of the history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

"This monumental work is the most extensive and well documented study in existence of the history of Auschwitz," said Commissioner Warren L. Miller. "It reflects years of meticulous research by the staff of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and broad international consultation and cooperation in the exchange of documents." The 1,800-page treatise contains several thousand footnotes, 
diagrams, photographs and copies 
of Nazi documents.

The five-volume work was presented by Chairman Michael Lewan and Commissioner Miller to the Chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Chair Emeritus Miles Lerman, and Museum Director Sarah Bloomfield. Commissioner Miller raised the funds for the translation, which was published by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in cooperation with the U.S. Commission. Museum historians at Auschwitz received significant assistance from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, Yad Vashem Memorial Institute in Jerusalem, and noted Holocaust scholars from around the world.

Rabbi Greenberg stated, "This work is very important to the Museum, to research scholars at universities throughout the U.S. and to all who are concerned how and why the Holocaust was carried out. We need to get these volumes to the key members of Congress, the Administration and the public."

Entitled Auschwitz: 1940-1945, the books were originally published in Polish in 1995 and subsequently republished in German. Since then, they have received broad acclaim from scholars worldwide. The English version incorporates new findings of fact based upon documents made available to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum from Russian archives.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in southern Poland, was the largest Nazi concentration camp and the largest center for the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. Approximately 1,100,000 people were murdered at Auschwitz, of which 1 million were Jews.

The Commission, comprised of 17 Presidential appointees, is a government agency charged with assisting the nations of Central and Eastern Europe with efforts to preserve and protect cultural heritage of importance to American citizens. In doing so, the Commission negotiates and signs diplomatic agreements, conducts surveys of the condition of certain cultural sites, and encourages the preservation of specific sites.

CAPTION FOR PICTURE ABOVE:  Attending the presentation of the five-volume treatise, Auschwitz: 1940-1945, are (from left to right) Sarah Bloomfield, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Miles Lerman, Warren Miller, Michael Lewan.  (Photo courtesy of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)


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