The US will donate $15 million to preserve the remains of the Auschwitz-Berkenau concentration camp, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday. CNN reported on the speech at the Schindler Factory Museum in Krakow, Poland.Clinton said the Obama administration would seek congressional approval of the $15 million donation, which will be distributed over five years. The funding will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, an endowment established to preserve and safeguard the remains of the concentration camp. An estimated 1.1 million victims perished at the camp.
The donation must first receive the approval of Congress, Clinton added.
If approved, the funding would be given over a five-year period beginning in 2012.
The US State Department said it was hopeful that other nations would make similar donations to preserve the site for the education of future generations.
Clinton made the statements after touring the World War II-era Schindler Factory Museum, which captures in stark images and artifacts the suffering of Jews at the hands of Nazi Germany, during a vist to Poland. Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of Jews by bringing them to his factory in Krakow from the nearby Plaszow concentration camp.
Clinton spoke in somber tones of the haunting symbols inside the museum.
“We see here the two realities of the Holocaust,” she said – the privation and slaughter of Jews, as well as the heroic efforts by some to save them from Plaszow.