In the largest single gift ever to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the estate of Eric F. Ross donated $17.2 million.
The money given Monday will be used to support the Washington museum’s endowment fund.
With this week’s gift, Ross and his late wife, Lore, have now donated more than $30 million to the museum. While they were alive the Rosses – both refugees of Nazi Germany – had donated more than $12 million to the institution.
“Having experienced firsthand Nazi anti-Semitism and hatred, Eric and Lore Ross became determined and generous investors in Holocaust educations,” said museum director Sara Bloomfield. “Their loss and suffering inspired remarkable generosity.”
The Rosses were the inaugural members of the museum’s Chairman’s Circle, which is made up of individuals and organizations who have donated at least $10 million. They also have sponsored four challenge grants that helped raise more than $4 million and brought in 1,500 new donors to the museum.
Ross died in September 2010 at 91.