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Cultural Heritage Preservation Projects

Another major Commission activity helps restore, preserve, and memorialize cultural heritage properties, including cemeteries, monuments and historic buildings. Most projects are funded by private sources. Some receive assistance from the government of the location.

Commission assistance is provided for projects identified by U.S. citizens, federal officials, foreign governments, Commission Members, and through the Commission’s surveys of cultural heritage sites.

Commission assistance is generally provided through interventions with foreign governments and sometimes provided through Commission sponsorship. In some cases, the Commission transfers funds, oversees fieldwork, and provides technical assistance for project sponsors in the U.S.

Photograph of the Little Camp Memorial at Buchenwald “Little Camp” Memorial at Buchenwald, Germany, designed by the camp’s survivor and project architect Stephen B. Jacobs.

In April 2002, the Commission’s largest project to date was completed -- construction of a memorial on the site of the most horrific section of the Nazis’ Buchenwald Concentration Camp, known as the “Little Camp.” The project was a joint venture of the Commission and the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, a German federal and state agency.

In October 2002, another Commission-sponsored Holocaust memorial, this one in Brailov, Ukraine, was dedicated to 3,000 people massacred by the Nazis on a single day in 1942.

In December 2002, a Commission-sponsored memorial was dedicated in Riga, Latvia to more than 25,000 people massacred by the Nazis during just two days in 1941.

Photograph of the Sarajevo Pre-burial HousePre-burial house at the Sarajevo Jewish cemetery, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Another major project, restoration of a pre-burial house at an historic Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in what was known as “Sniper’s Alley” during the 1992-1995 War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is nearing completion.

Other examples of preservation and commemoration projects that were funded with private funds include: the installation of a commemorative plaque in the Judeo-Spanish language at the Auschwitz Holocaust Memorial, Auschwitz, Poland; restoration of an historic synagogue in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; preservation of historic Jewish cemeteries in Ozarow, Poland, and Brody, Ukraine.

In addition, a program has been established at the American University in Sofia, Bulgaria on the contributions that American Protestant missionaries made to the shaping of the Bulgarian educational system.

Among the Commission's numerous projects that are ongoing are: the restoration of the “Hidden Synagogue” in the former Terezin Ghetto in Prague, Czech Republic; an exhibit at the former Nazi labor camp at Mittelbau-Dora, Germany; restoration of the Jewish cemeteries in Berdichev and Brody, Ukraine, in Butrimonys, Lithuania, in Karczew, Poland, and in Kosice, Slovakia; and fundraising for preserving historic wooden Greek-Catholic churches in northeastern Slovakia.

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