10th session of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Council
The Council of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation held its session on 18 June in Warsaw. The primary objective of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is to finance the conservation of the authentic remains of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The meeting was chaired by Marek Zając.
In 2017, the activities of the Foundation were focused on luring new countries to the project, as well as on further cooperation with donor countries - said Anna Miszewska, the general director, who also spoke of activities implemented in Poland, among others, the involvement of the Congress of Women in the search for further support for the Foundation.
Currently, the assets of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation amount to over 473 million PLN, and it is one of the largest in Poland. The financial declarations for the Endowment Fund amount to approx. 111 million of the planned 120 million euros. Since 2012, the foundation has transferred about 25 million PLN for conservation works at the Memorial, derived from the profits of the Endowment Fund, which has already been supported by a total of 38 countries and several individual donors. In 2017, the amount totalled 7.7 million PLN. This year, the sum transferred to the Museums will amount to approx. 10 million PLN
- The transparency of activities is of immense importance to us. In 2017, the International Committee of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation met for the first time in Oświęcim, which provided the opportunity for representatives of the donor countries to see the progress of conservation works at the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, which have been funded by the Foundation since 2012 - said Marek Zając.
Among the ongoing conservation projects financed by the Foundation, the largest and most important is the conservation of brick barracks 7 and 8 located in the BIb section of the former Birkenau camp. - Lately, one of the most challenging stages of the project was inaugurated, which is the straightening of the brick wall of the barrack. Thanks to a developed technology that minimally interferes with the building, we succeeded in straightening one of the side walls. Work has also commenced on straightening the gable walls. A system is being prepared that will allow the installation of an alarm and fire system without interfering with the authentic structure of the historic building - said Rafał Pióro, vice president of the Foundation's Management Board and deputy director of the Auschwitz Museum, responsible for conservation.
Documentation has already been prepared for work on subsequent four buildings at the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp: the bathhouse, the kitchen, one of the latrines and another prisoner's barrack. In the first half of this year, external companies should be selected to carry out the works. Furthermore, research is being conducted on the methods of conservation of the wooden barracks.
Beata Schulman, the Managing Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee, thanked the Foundation’s Council for the invitation to the meeting. - Thanks to the possibility of showing the Foundation’s donors the authentic site and ongoing works, their involvement will become greater - she said. One of the objectives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee is to create long-term cooperation with the donors and support the training of educators of the Memorial as the most crucial link in the dissemination of the Auschwitz history.
At the end of the meeting, the members of the council approved the annual report and the Foundation’s report for 2017. The results of the "Independent Auditor's Report from the Research" conducted by KPMG were presented, which confirmed that the Foundation's activities are undertaken without reservation.