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Associated Press – January 23, 2008
PHILADELPHIA – Miles Lerman, who fought against the Nazis in Poland and later helped found the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has died. He was 88.
Lerman’s wife, Rosalie, confirmed Wednesday that he died Tuesday at his home in Philadelphia.
Lerman was a member of a prosperous family whose flour mills were seized by the Nazis. Lerman escaped from a slave labor camp and fought the Nazis with other partisans for nearly two years in the forests of Poland.
“Our job was to raise havoc, to raise hell with them and survive,” he once told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lerman and his wife immigrated to New York City in 1947. He worked as a grocery warehouse clerk in Brooklyn, N.Y., then had a chicken farm in Vineland, N.J. He later started a home heating oil business that grew into a major distributorship, and invested in real estate.
Lerman was involved in the Holocaust Museum from the planning stages. Appointed to its governing board by President Jimmy Carter, he was reappointed by the next three presidents. He was the board’s chairman emeritus.
He also led efforts to build a memorial at the Belzec death camp in Poland, where his mother died. He later discussed the project with Pope John Paul II.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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