A rendering of the Holocaust Museum of Greece, projected to be completed in 2025. (Photo Credit: Jewish Community of Thessaloniki)

2022 Philanthropic Theme
Laureate: Albert Bourla

Dr. Albert Bourla was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, home to an ancient Jewish community that traced its roots to antiquity but was almost completely wiped out during the Holocaust. Dr. Bourla’s young parents narrowly escaped death and were among only 2,000 survivors from a pre-war Jewish population of more than 50,000.

In honor of his family and all the Jews of Greece who perished at the hands of the Nazis, Dr. Bourla asked The Genesis Prize Foundation to direct his $1 million award towards the construction of the Holocaust Museum of Greece. Slated to open in 2025 in Thessaloniki, the museum will immortalize the country’s vibrant and tragic Jewish history. It will be symbolically located at the site of Thessaloniki’s former railway station, the location from which thousands of the city’s Jews were deported to Auschwitz.

In addition to supporting the construction of the museum with a $1 million grant, Dr. Bourla and The Genesis Prize Foundation jointly awarded $100,000 to Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France, a foundation established by world-renowned Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld to preserve the memories of French Holocaust victims and hold accountable former Nazi war criminals.

Reflecting on the grant and his life's work, Mr. Klarsfeld said:

“I stood at Auschwitz, and I promised myself that from now on I would dedicate my life to two things: preserving the memory of the Holocaust and protecting Israel as a Jewish state.”