Poland is supporting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Perpetual Fund with a grant of €10 million. All the parties in the Polish parliament lent their support to a special bill which on 5 October was signed by Bronisław Komorowski, the president of the Polish Republic.
“This place constitutes a universal symbol of evil and is a very important reference point for many people around the world. Thanks to its financial involvement, Poland joins the ranks of the most important donors to the project and affirms its policy of protecting the remembrance of the victims of the Second World War,” reads the text advocating the bill, which also contains a reminder that the Polish government finances the cost of operating the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
“This is an important decision. It would be inconceivable for Poland not to be among the states supporting the maintenance of the authenticity of the Auschwitz Memorial,” said Foundation President Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński. The task of the Foundation is to raise €120 million for a Fund that will generate annual interest of €4-5 million, making it possible to plan and systematically carry out essential conservation work on the grounds of the Memorial. “Auschwitz is above all a worldwide symbol of the Holocaust. It is a place that says more about human nature than we want to hear. For us Poles, it is also our largest cemetery. In no other single place have so many Poles died,” said Cywiński.
The Polish commitment is about eight percent of the total Perpetual Fund. The money will be paid in installments over the next four years. Almost the entire remainder of the sum has been raised from the governments of states that are especially sensitive to the tragic history of the victims of Auschwitz, which have mobilized to send a message from this place to future generations. Other principal donors to the Foundation include the governments of Germany, the Unites States, Austria and the United Kingdom.
After 66 years, the buildings and grounds of the former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz , together with thousands of priceless historical objects, are endangered by the irreversible effects of accelerated erosion and deterioration. The mission of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is to finance a long-term conservation project at the Memorial. The overarching value that inspires this work is preserving the maximum possible authenticity of the area of the camp for future generations. On a world scale, this is the only program of its kind for any memorial site.