U.S. Holocaust Museum to award Angela Merkel with top honour named for Elie Wiesel

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will bestow its highest honour, the Elie Wiesel Award, on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work advancing Holocaust awareness.

“Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making the preservation of Holocaust memory a priority for Germany,” said Tom Bernstein, who chairs the council governing the museum, in a release Thursday. “The Museum has partnered with the German government and institutions on many initiatives and those partnerships have only grown deeper and more fruitful under Chancellor Merkel.”

Merkel was instrumental in 2011 in overcoming the reluctance among the 11 nations that run the International Tracing Service, the Germany-based documentation center of Nazi atrocities, to opening up its archives.

She will receive the award on April 24 during the museum’s National Tribute Dinner, which takes place on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Washington, D.C. Merkel will accept the honour by video from Germany.

The honour was named for Wiesel, the Holocaust memoirist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who helped found the museum.

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