On January 27, 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczyński awarded Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. He was honored for “eminent services in educational and museum work commemorating the victims of the Nazi German labor camps, concentration camps, and extermination centers, and for their accomplishments in the development of the Polish-Jewish dialogue.” Shalev was in Poland for the official commemorative events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and 65 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Polish President Kaczyński also awarded decorations to United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara Bloomfield and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Director Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński. Former recipients of the award include Janusz Korczak and Righteous Among the Nations Irena Sendler.