Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and representatives of the Länder today (15 December) signed an agreement with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation on a German contribution totalling 60 million euro. The Federation and the Länder will each provide half of the amount, which will be paid to the Foundation in five equal annual instalments starting in 2011.
At the signing in Berlin, Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle said:
“By contributing to the funding of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, Germany is recognizing its historical responsibility to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust and to pass it on to future generations.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is a synonym for the crimes of National Socialism. Today the Memorial recalls these crimes. We feel both a duty and a need to support a Foundation which will ensure the future of the Memorial as an indispensable place of remembrance, education and learning.”
TheAuschwitz-Birkenau Foundation was established in Warsaw early in 2009 at the initiative of Polish Secretary of State and Auschwitz survivor Władysław Bartoszewski. The Foundation aims to amass a capital stock of 120 million euro; income from this sum will be used to finance long-term conservation work at the Memorial. Other European countries and the United States are also participating in the project.