In 2023, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation (ABF) donated a record sum of PLN 27.5 million for conservation works to the Museum. The total support provided by ABF to date has reached nearly PLN 126 million, and the value of the Foundation's Endowment Fund in 2023 exceeded EUR 177 million.
‘The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation provides nearly all funding for preservation efforts at the Memorial. Establishing a stable, long-term funding mechanism has facilitated the creation of a proficient team of experts, the implementation of activities on an unparalleled scale, and the initiation of the Master Plan for Preservation,’ said the president of the Foundation and the director of Auschwitz Museum Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
Among the most significant works completed in 2023 were conservation of two brick barracks, a kitchen and a latrine at the Birkenau site; work on the ruins of the gas chamber and crematorium III that focused on the underground sections of the facility and components of the reinforced structural concrete preserved within the former furnace hall; preservation of 50 suitcases, 1,200 shoes, 800 enamelware items, 30 textile objects and 2,000 archaeological artefacts; as well as conservation of selected paint layers in Blocks 11, 15 and 18 in Auschwitz I.
Conservation efforts have been initiated for the brick structure of the former bathhouse in Birkenau’s women’s camp. As part of Building Information Modelling (BIM), models were developed for 45 brick barracks in the BI section of the former Birkenau camp. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) concept was developed to facilitate creating, sharing, and managing maps, applications, and spatial data.
In 2023, the Foundation initiated supplementary funding for a project aimed at preserving 8,000 shoes belonging to the youngest victims of Auschwitz. This occurred through cooperation with the International March of the Living, the Next Generation Foundation, and various private donors, among others.
The Foundation also signed an agreement with Taiwan, through which it will continue to fund a special scholarship programme in 2024 for women conservators from Ukraine who were forced to leave their homeland due to Russia’s aggression against the country and have since found employment at the Museum.
‘With the pace of conservation work having reached the desired level, the Foundation has embarked on additional new fundraising activities to support educational projects. The funding for these tasks is not sourced from the income generated by the Endowment Fund,’ said the director general of the Foundation Wojciech Soczewica.
One of the initial educational programmes funded by the ABF involves the development of the platform “Auschwitz in Front of Your Eyes” dedicated to guided live online tours of the Memorial.