Miles Lerman, a former chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, has died.
Lerman died Tuesday at his home in Philadelphia, museum officials said. He was 88.
Lerman was a founding member of the Washington museum’s governing council, established during the Reagan presidency in the 1980s, and was the museum chairman from its opening in 1993 through 2000.
He played a role in most every aspect of the museum’s establishment, negotiating the agreements that brought together its permanent exhibit.
Lerman was a partisan fighter in Poland and sought to dispel the myth that Jews did not resist the Nazis. One of his legacies at the museum is the Miles Lerman Center for the Study of Jewish Resistance.
“Miles taught his successors the meaning of memory,” said Fred Zeidman, the museum’s chairman. “Those of us who follow in the path he forged owe him a debt of gratitude and bear a tremendous responsibility to carry on his legacy.”
Museum director Sara Bloomfield said in a statement that Lerman’s “boundless energy and determination were a driving force that created the Museum and made it the international institution it is today.”