Pickles announces funding to preserve Auschwitz

Eric Pickles at the Jewish Museum

Eric Pickles at the Jewish Museum

Auschwitz-Birkenau's preservation and restoration project will benefit from a £2.15 million British government contribution.

Announcing the funding on Thursday, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the money would be used to ensure the concentration camp could continue to educate people about the Holocaust.

It will cost more than £100 million to maintain Auschwitz over the next 10 to 15 years.

The contribution is being funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Foreign Office.

Mr Pickles said: "Auschwitz-Birkenau is an important place of remembrance, it is vital that we do not forget it. Just as we collect and preserve the stories of eyewitnesses, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that Auschwitz-Birkenau stands as a perpetual reminder of the pain and destructive force of hate."

He announced the funding at the Jewish Museum in Camden, north London, alongside Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, Polish Ambassador to Britain, Barbara Tuge-Erecinska, and survivor Mala Tribich. Pupils from Wigmore High School in Herefordshire attended the event .

Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "HET has urged the government to provide financial support for the upkeep of the site and this commitment sends a clear message that we have a responsibility to safeguard the future of the camp."

Last updated: 3:22pm, May 26 2011