Bus from Volkswagen for the Auschwitz Memorial Site
In Berlin, a ceremony was held for the transfer to the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau of a bus donated by Volkswagen AG and the International Auschwitz Committee. The new vehicle will transport visitors free of charge between the former camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which are at a distance of more than 2 km.
In a special letter, Museum Director Dr. Piotr MA Cywiński expresses his thanks for the donation of the bus. “For years we have seen continued interest in the world about the Memorial Site. In 2012, nearly 1.5 million people visited the site of the former camp and more than one million of attendance lasts for the past six years. The Auschwitz Memorial Site and Birkenau are at a distant of more than two kilometres from each other. Despite this, almost all visitors pass through both places. I am pleased that with the bus submitted to the Museum people from all over the world will have easier access to these sites,” said Cywiński. ;;
During the ceremony of the transfer of the bus in Berlin, vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee Christoph Heubner said that the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site is one of the most significant places for the collective memory of humanity. “For the survivors, it is important for this place not to have been drown in silence but instead the place should be visited by people from all over the world. This is a very important and emotional signal; what happened there should never be forgotten. Both the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birekanu are related to one memory. The bus that is being transferred to the Memorial Site will allow visitors to visit both places and will permit them to learn more,” said Christoph Heubner.
Deputy Director of the Museum, Andrzej Kacorzyk, drew attention to a number of initiatives undertaken by the Volkswagen concern and the collaboration with them as part of educational projects with the International Auschwitz Committee. “For many years, within the grounds of the Museum, VW has held an apprenticeship for school students, combined with a programme for understanding the history of the victims of Auschwitz. I am glad that in this case, our cooperation has taken on such an extraordinary material form,” said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the International Centre of Auschwitz and the Holocaust. ; ;
About the educational programmes conducted by Volkswagen at the Auschwitz Memorial Site, Gunnar Kilian, Secretary General and CEO of the Volkswagen AG plant, said: “For a long time, our students from Volkswagen have been going to the Auschwitz Memorial Site. Get learn about it and meet former prisoners there, but they also take part in the work of assisting in the maintenance of the Museum. They always return from this Site with a huge impression. For this reason, as a thank you for the opportunity to work and stay in the camp, we would like to donate this bus. With it, visitors will have a better opportunity to learn about the Memorial Site, and I believe that it will help sustain the memory of Auschwitz.”
The new bus will soon replace one of the older vehicles that has transported visitors between the two parts of the Museum.