March 8, 2004
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM SELECTED BY AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS FOR 2003-2005 INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP AWARD
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has been selected by the American Association of Museums (AAM) for the International Partnerships Among Museums (IPAM) 2003-2005 cycle Partnership Award. The award will allow an exchange of personnel between the Museum and the Jasenovac Memorial Area (Jasenovac) to develop and enhance Holocaust educational programming and outreach at each institution.
Located in Croatia, Jasenovac was one of World War II’s most notorious concentration camp systems where hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were killed at the hands of the fascist Ustaša regime. Used as a propaganda tool by the communists, the camp’s brutal history resurfaced in the recent Balkan wars after the break-up of Yugoslavia. During the fighting the camp’s collection of artifacts and archives was taken across a border and, after a decade of negligence, eventually rescued by the Holocaust Museum in 2000. The Museum conserved the materials and repatriated them one year later to Jasenovac.
Then, in 2002, aided by an IPAM award, the Museum worked with Jasenovac staff to develop processes and paperwork for tracking, storing and accessing its collection. This second IPAM award will enable a personnel exchange between the two institutions to draw upon each other’s expertise and unique perspectives in developing educational programming and materials. The Museum will assist Jasenovac in creating programs to support its exhibitions and expand its audiences. Jasenovac educators will share their expertise in developing programs that introduce Holocaust history to uninitiated or unreceptive audiences.
“Saving this important collection and helping to teach the world about this little-known aspect of Holocaust history reflects the unique role that an institution like ours can play. A nation’s future is in some sense a reflection of how it faces its past, and we applaud Jasenovac for its commitment to preserving and teaching this history,” says Sara Bloomfield, Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “We are grateful to IPAM for making this historic effort possible not only for the people of Croatia and the former Yugoslavia, but for people all over the world.”
Portions of the collection can be accessed at a unique Web site developed by the Museum (www.ushmm.org/musuem/exhibit/online/jasenovac) that conveys the history of the Holocaust in Croatia in English, Croatian and Serbian. Users can listen to survivor testimony, view historical photographs and films, access interviews with Museum curators, and more.
IPAM was founded in 1980 to establish linkages between U.S. museums and their non-U.S. counterparts with similar missions through the execution of a mutually beneficial, collaborative project. With the completion of this cycle, 226 partnerships have taken place in 39 states and District of Columbia with 84 different countries. The museum selects a staff member to facilitate the project during a month-long residency at the partner museum.
IPAM program is administered by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU), which supports partnerships between the U.S. and Central and Eastern Europe.
A public-private partnership, the Museum is a federal institution whose educational activities and outreach are made possible through private donations. More than 250,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations helped build the institution and currently support its programs and operations. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.
The ECA fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational exchange programs. For more information about the activities of the ECA, see http://exchanges.state.gov/education/.
For more information about the Trust for Mutual Understanding, see www.tmuny.org.