30 countries have already supported the Perpetual Capital created and managed by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. Financial declarations amount to EUR 101 million in total, 67 million of which have already been placed in the Foundation's bank accounts. On 9 June 2014, in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw, the Foundation Council held its sixth meeting.
Last year, the Foundation earmarked PLN 3.5 million obtained from the Perpetual Capital profits for preservation works in the Museum. This year, the allocation is predicted to reach PLN 5.5 million. Next year, it may amount even to PLN 7 million.
As emphasised by Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, President of the Foundation, the most important task for the coming months is to complete building up the Perpetual Capital. " Almost seventy years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz. Not long from now, on January 27, 2015, we—the postwar generations—will stand together with the last Survivors. We will tell them that we have grown into our role, and that we understand what they have been trying to tell us all these years. The memory has ripened within us. It's also my great hope that this year, we will raise the rest of the funds and, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we will be able to declare that the Perpetual Capital of 120 million euro is now complete," he said.
So far, the Perpetual Capital was supported primarily by countries. However, the Foundation hopes to raise the remaining funds with the help of individual donors. "This is why we launched the '18 Pillars of Remembrance' campaign. We want to encourage individuals, but also foundations or companies, to support the mission of the Foundation and make a donation for the Perpetual Capital. At the moment, we conduct many talks and activities so that 18 donors, who constitute those symbolic pillars of remembrance, would donate one million euro each," said Jacek Kastelaniec, General Director of the Foundation.
In 2013, the Foundation financed preservation works conducted in both parts of the former camp. The greatest priority of the Master Plan for Preservation is given to the conservation of 45 brick barracks of the women's camp situated in the BI sector of the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp.
"Currently, specialist studies are carried out regarding e.g. research on techniques, technology and condition of the original paint layers, research to identify the construction materials, defining their physical-chemical properties and durability, research on methods for conserving, protecting and reinforcing components made from mineral materials, as well as research on developing methods for the conservation of building structures, components of their finishing, and their foundational underpinnings, taking the statics and physics of the structures into account," said Rafał Pióro, Deputy President of the Management Board of the Foundation and Deputy Director of the Auschwitz Memorial, who is responsible for the conservation. The end of all research works is planned for 2015.
"In addition, geodesic measurements were performed on the whole premises, which served to draw up a map that will make it possible to prepare project documentation for the brick barracks. Moreover, technical analysis containing an assessment of the condition of the sewer system in the BI sector was conducted. Two brick barracks scheduled to be the first in line for conservation works were scanned with laser. Works preventing further deterioration of the buildings in sector BI were also continued”, he added.
On the premises of Auschwitz I, preservation and protection works have been completed in the remains of the first baths and the camp kitchen adjoining Block 2. Works have been started in Block 28, which constituted a part of the prisoners hospital and is one of the facilities presented in their original condition. At the moment, completed projects include: inventory, structural analysis, as well as geological-engineering documentation. Other conducted works were aimed at protecting the whole building against further deterioration.
During the session, members of the Council approved the Substantive Report concerning all of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation’s activities in 2013, Financial Statement for the year 2013, as well as annual action plans and financial plans. Results of the external audit for 2013, conducted by the KPMG company, were also presented to the members of the Council. Once again, KPMG did not express any reservations as to the Financial Statements provided by the Foundation.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, established in 2009, aims to raise EUR 120 million for the Perpetual Capital, which will bring profits allowing to preserve the remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz, currently at risk of destruction with the passing time.
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