The University of California, Los Angeles has announced a $3 million grant from Evan Zimmermann and the Zimmermann Family Charitable Trust in support of initiatives focused on the causes and consequences of the Holocaust and the study of human rights, minority protection and reparations for historical wrongs and injustices.
The grant will fund three new initiatives at the university, including the Jacob Robinson Institute for the History of Legal Thought and Practice, named for the historian who served as a consultant in the Nuremberg war crime trials and worked on the prosecution of Nazi murderers such as Adolf Eichmann. Robinson subsequently participated in the drafting of the reparations agreement between Israel, the Jewish People, and Germany, and helped establish the research arm of Yad Vashem.
The grant will also help to establish a Study of Protection of Minorities and Vulnerable Groups, and a Digital Humanities Lab, which will research oral testimonies of survivors of mass crimes, and will provide funding for the university’s Center for Human Rights.
The collaboration with the university is one of the first major projects launched by Evan Zimmermann and the Zimmermann Family Charitable Trust as part of their commitment to create an international academic network dedicated to investigating key aspects of the protection of democratic values, pluralism, and ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities in an era of nationalism and emerging authoritarianism. American businessman and philanthropist Evan Zimmermann, the former owner of the world’s premiere watch auction house, Antiquorum, which he sold in 2018 in order to focus his time in support of startup ventures and philanthropy.
“We gladly support the research and scholarly dissemination of legal and historical questions related to both the establishment and strengthening of human rights, individual as well collective rights. These subject matters were at the core interest and activity of leading Jewish legal scholars throughout the conflict-ridden twentieth century. That legacy has to be continued, strengthened, and applied during exceptionally precarious times,” said Evan Zimmermann.