Verhagen: EU should contribute to the preservation of Auschwitz

Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen has said that the European Union should contribute €30 million for the preservation of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The Netherlands and France will jointly request the European Commission to earmark this sum in the EU budget.

The minister was speaking today in Rotterdam, following talks with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner. Mr Verhagen said, ‘More than any other place, Auschwitz is connected with Europe’s darkest days. Over one million Jews and others from all over Europe were killed there. Keeping their memory alive is a matter that concerns everyone on this continent’.

The Polish government and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation have asked for €120 million for structural maintenance and repairs on the site. Half of this sum has already been pledged by Germany.