Poland to donate €10,000,000 to Auschwitz perpetual fund.
A draft bill which is to approve the donation has had its first reading in the parliamentary commission for culture and the media. Its chairwoman, Iwona Śledzińska-Katarasińska, said that preserving Auschwitz, a site of unique importance, is of utmost siginificance not only for Poland and Europe, but also for the whole world.
Chairman of the Auschwitz Foundation, former Auschwitz prisoner Władysław Bartoszewski, called on deputies to support the draft irrespective of party differences. ‘Such a non-partisan gesture would be appreciated by both the Germans and Jews, showing that all the parties in Poland, from the right to the left, share the view that the site of the former camp should be preserved as a testimony for the whole mankind’, he said.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which was established in January 2009, hopes to create a Perpetuity Fund of 120 million euros by 2015 to ensure the consolidation, restoration and long-term maintenance of the camp site.
Several countries have already pledged to contribute 85 million euros, the most sizeable contribution (60 million euros) having been offered by Germany. The United States, Austria, Great Britain and Israel have also contributed to the fund.
The site of the Auschwitz camp extends over an area of almost 200 hectares and comprises 155 buildings, most which are badly in need of repair. The conservation projects are also to cover the camp’s archives, documents and objects in the museum collection. Over 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, perished at Auschwitz.