The Neubauer Family Foundation’s gift to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews was made to honor the memory of Miles Lerman.
Miles 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.
Mr. Lerman and his family fled to the city of Lwów following the Nazi invasion of 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 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.
Miles Lerman was a “founding father” of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and persuading Soviet bloc countries to give it thousands of artifacts of the Holocaust. He served on the Museum’s Council for 23 years, having received appointments from Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, and served as Chairman through most of the Museum’s first decade, from its opening in 1993 until 2000. He remained on the Council until 2003.
Mr. Lerman’s relentless efforts and the determination to make the world remember those who perished also led to the creation of the memorial at Belzec, where some half a million Jews were murdered, including members of his own family.
The Neubauer Family Foundation was established by Jeanette Lerman Neubauer and Joseph Neubauer. The foundation provides the key financial support for the ambitious survey of American Jews conducted by the Pew Research Center, for educational institutions, including University of Chicago, Brandeis University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Neubauer Family graciously supported the Museum of the History of Polish Jews on its early stage of development. The role and meaning the Museum for the future generations were well understood also by blessed memory Mr. Miles Lerman, Jeanette’s father.
Photo: Jeanette Lerman Neubauer & Joseph Neubauer