The Museum has just received a $17.2 million gift from the estate of former United States Holocaust Memorial Council member Eric F. Ross. It is the largest gift in the institution’s history. Eric was actively involved with the Museum both before and after his Council service. He and his late wife, Lore, donated more than $12 million to the institution during their lifetimes and in total have contributed more than $30 million to the Museum. In 1999, they made a gift to have the Museum’s Ross Administrative Center named in memory of his parents, who were murdered by the Germans.
The Rosses were an exceptionally generous couple whose philanthropic efforts will profoundly impact the Museum and that of Holocaust education, which they cared deeply about.
This most recent gift will support the Museum’s endowment fund, which will provide vital permanent resources to secure the Museum’s future and its global impact.
Both Eric and Lore knew firsthand the dangers of unchecked hatred and antisemitism. As a teenager, Eric fled Nazi Germany, leaving behind his parents. After coming to the U.S. he married Lore Blumenthal, a fellow refugee.
Eric returned to Europe in 1942 as a soldier in the U.S. Army. He was one of the “Ritchie Boys,” a group of German-speaking soldiers who received special training at Camp Ritchie in Maryland, and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.
After the war, he founded Alpha Chemical & Plastics in Newark and, ten years later, founded Mercer Plastics Company, based in Florida. He sold both companies in 1985.
The Museum is extremely grateful for this gift and the unparalleled support of both Eric and Lore Ross. Ensuring that the victims of the Holocaust are remembered and that the lessons of this tragedy are transmitted to future generations will be part of their enduring legacy.