Merkel to pledge 60 million euros for Auschwitz museum during visit – report
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Merkel to pledge 60 million euros for Auschwitz museum during visit – report

Move, planned at ceremony marking 10th anniversary of memorial, will cement Germany as its largest donor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2019. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2019. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will reportedly pledge a donation of 60 million euros ($66.6 million) to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial during her visit there on Friday.

She will make the announcement during a ceremony marking the museum’s 10-year anniversary, with half of the money coming from Germany’s government and the rest coming from regional governments, Reuters reported, citing the museum.

“Auschwitz is a museum but it is also the biggest cemetery in the world … [memory] is the key to building the present and future,” museum director Piotr Cywinski was cited as saying.

Germany will be cementing its place as the biggest donor to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial.

People walk through the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 28. 2011. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski/ File)

The money will be used to conserve the site where Nazi Germany killed more than 1 million people in occupied Poland during World War II, most of them Jews transported there from across Europe.

“Many of the buildings were not built to last long,” Cywinski told the news agency, adding that the foundation needs about $4.5-5 million every year to maintain conservation.

“I want to show that these funds are created as a tool for the future, for the next generation, for education. It’s not a way to point the finger at a country’s history, because that’s not my role.”

In October, the World Jewish Congress gave Merkel its Theodor Herzl Award for her efforts to foster Jewish life in Germany and her support for the State of Israel.

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