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Memorialising and documenting: Support for the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, © dpa/picture alliance

29.11.2019 - Article

75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, the German Government is working to ensure the permanent conservation of the memorial and museum at that site. To this end, the Bundestag has earmarked 30 million euros in the Federal Foreign Office budget.

Historical responsibility

To mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation, the German Government wants to send the message that Germany recognises its historical responsibility. Germany will thus provide funding for the further restoration and the permanent conservation of the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. Time is running out: the conservation of authentic places such as memorials will become all the more important once there are no more living witnesses to tell us about their experiences.

Funding from the Federal Foreign Office

Together, the Federal Government and Länder intend to contribute up to 60 million euros to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s capital. The money is to be used to carry out planned restoration work in the coming 25 years. A total of 30 million euros from the Federal Foreign Office budget adopted by the Bundestag on 29 November have been earmarked: 14 million euros for 2020 and 16 million euros for 2021. During the budget negotiations, Foreign Minister Maas called for further support for the Foundation in order to preserve the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau as a place of mourning and remembrance for present and future generations. The German Government is also calling on other sponsors to contribute.

Memorialising and documenting

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation was established in 2009 with the aim of ensuring the Memorial and Museum’s conservation on the grounds of the former concentration and extermination camp on a lasting basis. The historical site is meant to serve as a memorial and documentation centre. Germany provided the Foundation with 30 million euros annually between 2011 and 2015 – funding which came from both the Federal Government and the Länder. However, according to a Global Conservation Plan for the next 25 years presented in the spring of 2019, the current Foundation capital of 120 million euros will not cover the necessary restoration and conservation measures. It has been calculated that additional funding of around 60 million euros is required.

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