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Cross of the Order of Merit for Shapiro

Paul Shapiro, the Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (USHMM) Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and member of the International Commission for the International Tracing service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, was presented yesterday Germany’s highest civilian recognition - the Cross of the Order of Merit.

Shapiro was honored with the award in recognition of his contributions to the study of the Holocaust. Under his direction over the past eleven years, the Center has become one of the world’s leading research institutions on the Holocaust, said the German Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Klaus Scharioth, in his laudatory remarks. He furthermore underscored Shapiro’s outstanding efforts to open the archives of the ITS and to make the contents available for research.

“When the most intimate of friends challenge one another, it is usually because a shared destiny requires it”, answered Shapiro. “It was our lasting shared commitment to Holocaust memory and education that was the basis on which we ultimately agreed regarding the opening of the archives. The ITS records have tremendous memorial and scholarly significance, and provide a potent weapon against all forms of Holocaust denial.”

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