“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
Switzerland is contributing to the preservation of the former extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with a donation of one million euros to the foundation responsible for the maintenance of the site.
This donation is a response to a call for funds totaling EUR 120 million addressed to several dozen countries. With this gesture, Switzerland is demonstrating its international solidarity and respect for the victims of Nazism and contributing to the necessary work of remembrance.
A call for funds was made in 2009. To date, some twenty countries have contributed or pledged a total of approximately EUR 100 million. In January 2010, Switzerland made a first payment of CHF 100,000. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and the Polish authorities have stepped up efforts to raise the approximately EUR 20 million still needed, and have stressed the urgency of measures to achieve the permanent preservation of this former camp. The issue was also raised by President Komorowski during his state visit to Switzerland in the autumn of 2012.
With this new payment, Switzerland wants to express its international solidarity and its respect for the victims of Nazism. Switzerland is also complementing at the federal level the efforts made in recent years by the cantons and Swiss Jewish organizations to support trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau. These trips, which are becoming increasingly popular among teachers and students, enable young people to learn about the atrocities committed in the name of a racist and antisemitic ideology, raise their awareness, and help them think about the necessary work of remembrance.