CHICAGO — Oprah Winfrey told 3,000 supporters of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday that she is still haunted by her trip earlier this year to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“I still cannot even imagine what it was like to go through a concentration camp and come out alive and sane,” the talk-show host said at a fundraiser here for the museum. “I couldn’t take it all in when I was there. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it.”
Winfrey traveled to Poland in January for a two-part episode with scholar and holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. She also selected Wiesel’s memoir, “Night,” for her book club.
“Those millions and millions and millions who did not survive want us to never forget the hopes they sacrificed on the killing fields,” she said during her 15-minute speech at a lunchtime fundraiser for the Washington, D.C. museum.
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The 11th annual luncheon is the museum’s largest regularly scheduled fundraiser. A museum spokesman said he did not know how much the event raised.
Last year, the museum had an operating budget of more than $66 million, nearly one-third of which was raised by private donations.
Other speakers included Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a high-school student who survived Rwanda’s genocide.
“All of us must help stop prejudice and hatred wherever we meet it,” Daley said.
Organizers say education about the holocaust remains important today to help combat genocide.
“Each of us has a responsibility, we have a moral obligation to find a way to serve somebody other than ourselves,” Winfrey said. “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
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