The Elie Wiesel Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have singularly advanced the Museum’s vision of the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance; and a world in which people confront hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. It is the Museum’s highest honor.

  • 2022: The Ritchie Boys

    2022: The Ritchie Boys

    The Ritchie Boys, a once-secret US military intelligence unit that included many Jewish refugees from Nazism, was instrumental to the Allies’ victory in World War II.

  • 2021: Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

    2021: Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

    By bringing the issue of Holocaust justice back on the world’s agenda after decades of indifference, Ambassador Eizenstat has played a singular role in securing the permanence of Holocaust memory, as well as compensation and restitution for Holocaust survivors worldwide.

  • 2021: US Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations

    2021: US Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations

    Staffed by a dedicated team of prosecutors, investigators, and historians, the OSI was established to identify, investigate, and bring to trial people living in the United States who participated in Nazi crimes against humanity. The award was accepted by former OSI Director Eli Rosenbaum.

  • 2020: Maziar Bahari

    2020: Maziar Bahari

    Journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari has exhibited exceptional courage in bringing the truth of the Holocaust to Iran and throughout the Middle East, and has been a powerful voice against antisemitism.

  •  2019: Serge and Beate Klarsfeld

    2019: Serge and Beate Klarsfeld

    Co-recipients Serge and Beate Klarsfeld have dedicated their lives to bringing perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice.

  • 2019: Syria Civil Defence

    2019: Syria Civil Defence

    Commonly known as the White Helmets, co-recipients Syria Civil Defence are volunteers who, at great risk to themselves and their families, have courageously saved lives and delivered critical services to people impacted by atrocities committed by the Syrian regime.

  • 2018: All Holocaust Survivors

    2018: All Holocaust Survivors

    On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the Museum bestowed the 2018 Elie Wiesel Award on all survivors of the Holocaust in recognition of their courage, resilience, and commitment to Holocaust remembrance and education.

  • 2017: German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    2017: German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    As Germany’s leader for 12 years, Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Holocaust memory and education.

  • 2016: US Representative John Lewis (D-GA)

    2016: US Representative John Lewis (D-GA)

    One of the "Big Six" leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, US Representative John Lewis (D-GA) stood up to hatred and endured physical abuse, yet he never abandoned his commitment to promoting the human dignity of all people. 

  • 2015: Judge Thomas Buergenthal

    2015: Judge Thomas Buergenthal

    Co-recipient Judge Thomas Buergenthal has honored the memory of the Holocaust through a lifetime devoted to the pursuit of international justice.

  • 2015: Benjamin Ferencz

    2015: Benjamin Ferencz

    Co-recipient Benjamin Ferencz was recognized for his lifelong dedication to advancing humanity’s understanding of and commitment to justice.

  • 2014: Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire

    2014: Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire

    Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire valiantly attempted to warn the world of and prevent the 1994 Rwandan genocide, despite enormous apathy and opposition from the international community. 

  • 2013: Władysław Bartoszewski and the Veterans of World War II

    2013: Władysław Bartoszewski and the Veterans of World War II

    The Museum presented the 2013 award to Władysław Bartoszewski of Poland, on behalf of all rescuers, and to all the American veterans who fought in World War II.

  • 2011: Elie Wiesel

    2011: Elie Wiesel

    Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and founding chairman of the Museum, has played a singular role in establishing and advancing the cause of Holocaust remembrance.

  • The US Holocaust Memorial Museum revoked Aung San Suu Kyi's 2012 Elie Wiesel Award on March 6, 2018. Read the Museum's letter to her about that decision. Learn more about the Museum's work on Burma.