US pledges $2 million for preservation of Auschwitz
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US pledges $2 million for preservation of Auschwitz

More than 1.1 million Jews were murdered in camp during the Holocaust; contribution in addition to $15 million donated by the US for its upkeep

Holocaust survivors walk below the gate with its inscription "Work sets you free" after a wreath laying at the death wall at the memorial site of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz during ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)
Holocaust survivors walk below the gate with its inscription "Work sets you free" after a wreath laying at the death wall at the memorial site of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz during ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP)

The United States will contribute $2 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The contribution, in coordination with Congress, is in addition to the $15 million provided by the United States to the foundation, which oversees the site of the former Nazi death camp, over a five-year period that ended in 2018, according to a statement issued Monday.

“This funding demonstrates our commitment to Holocaust education, remembrance, dialogue, and research,” the statement said, calling on other countries to join in supporting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.

January 27, observed as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during a visit at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem on March 21, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“We firmly believe it is humanity’s duty to honor Holocaust survivors, guard the memory of Holocaust victims and all other victims of Nazi persecution, and fight back against anti-Semitism, and attempts to ignore and revise history,” Pompeo said in the statement. “We urge all to take active steps to make sure the horrors of the Holocaust are not repeated and future crimes against humanity are prevented.”

Also on Monday, the British government announced that it would give £1 million ($1,300,800) to the foundation in order to “ensure the lessons of Auschwitz live on for generations to come.”

“I remember as a young boy the regular heart-rending laments by my grandmother for the family lost to Auschwitz and the other death camps,” said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

“The government is supporting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, because we must never forget history’s darkest moment, and we must educate future generations so it can never be repeated.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, making her first visit to Auschwitz earlier this month, pledged an added €60 million ($66 million) in funding to its memorial museum.

According to its website, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation earmarked €1.2 million for preservation of the site in 2018.

More than 1.1 million Jews were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Holocaust. The camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945.

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