Germany Dedicates Funds for Auschwitz Renovation | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 14.01.2009
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Germany Dedicates Funds for Auschwitz Renovation

Germany is ready to make a contribution towards renovation work at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Poland, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

The main gate of Auschwitz camp

Germany sees it as a duty to keep the memory of Auschwitz alive

The spokeswoman said the government was in contact with Polish authorities about what was required.

"We consider it a core duty of Germany to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive," she said.

Decaying site

An estimated 1.1 million European Jews died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz during World War II. The concentration camp, built in 1940, is badly in need of repair.

Children at barbed wire camp limiits of Auschwitz

Some 1.1 million Jews are thought to have died there

Without foreign assistance it faces falling into decay, according to the director of the Auschwitz memorial center, Piotr Cywinski, who sought international funding last summer.

The center requires around 50 million euros ($66 million) for urgently needed restorations. The Polish government provides it with the equivalent of 2.5 million euros annually.

In the 1990s, Germany contributed 30 million marks ($19 million) towards renovation work.

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