The period of the pandemic has been very hard for the Auschwitz Memorial, which in 2020 was closed for visitors for 161 days, thus deprived of its greatest source of funding. The planned bud get collapsed. Almost all subject-related activity of the Museum was limited and investment projects were reduced to the necessary minimum.
Thanks to exceptional aid provided by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and increasing their subsidies from PLN 25 to 31 million, the continuation of Museum’s basic activity was maintained together with workplaces.
In 2020, specific-purpose subsidies from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in the amount of PLN 0.5 million were spent on fire protection of historical facilities; PLN 68 thousand on the implementation of the project connected with the organization of the New Polish Exhibition; PLN 47 thousand on the implementation of the research project entitled “Key factors determining the implementation of strategic goals of museums and memorial sites of former German Nazi concentration and extermination camps, with particular attention paid to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim”; PLN 51 thousand on the implementation of educational project entitled “United by Independent Poland. Citizens of the Second Polish Republic in KL Auschwitz”; PLN 0.4 million on the purchase of the second part of the so called Eiss Archive; PLN 25 thousand on the printing and distribution of the publication The Polish legation in Bern. The unspoken history by Dr. Danuta Drywa, PLN 177 thousand on the protection of Museum visitors and staff against the spread of coronavirus (thermal imaging devices).
Funds from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation in the amount of PLN 11.8 million were used for the realization of conservation tasks within the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp as well as for ongoing conservation of movable objects within the framework of the project carried out in conservation workshops. Apart from this, record sheets of archaeological objects were developed together with material and technical verification of metal objects from Museum collections coming from former storage facilities in the so called “Canada” sector.
The European Union, within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund, as well as the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage co-finance the implementation of the project “Adjustment of the ‘Old Theatre’ building for the activity of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim” as well as the project “Increasing the access to cultural resources through extending the visit route at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum with post-camp space of Schlachthaus and Molkerei buildings together with the reconstruction of the cinema hall.” In 2020, project funds obtained from the EU amounted to PLN 5.9 million and from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to PLN 1.6 million.
The Memorial Foundation for the Victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau supported the substantial activity of the department of Education, Digital Repository, the Archives, department of the Methodology of Guiding as well as the Publishing House with the total amount of PLN 0.3 million.
In 2020, the Auschwitz Museum and International Tracing Service Bad Arolsen continued the implementation of their joint project entitled “The reconstruction of the identity of the deportees and prisoners based on archival data of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim and ITS in Bad Arolsen.” Volkswagen AG & Internationales Auschwitz Komitee intended PLN 0.3 million for this purpose in 2020.
Stiftung Bayerische Gedenkstädte from Munich together with the Auschwitz Museum continue the project aimed at discovering the fate of Polish political prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp within Dachau and Flossenbürg camp complexes. The project is carried out by the Auschwitz Museum, Gedenkstädte Flossenbürg as well as Gedenkstädte Dachau and financed in its entirety by the Foundation. The amount of funds indented for project implementation in 2020 amounted to PLN 0.3 million.
In connection with its current economic situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2020 the Museum applied to the Voivodeship Employment Office for support from the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund (FGŚP) for the co-financing of employee remunerations according to the so called “COVID-19 Act” and obtained non-returnable aid in the amount of PLN 3.3 million. At the same time, the Museum received material support worth PLN 46 thousand from the Ministry of Health under the form of protective facemasks and sanitizing solution.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Memorial imposes an obligation of remembrance and education on future generations throughout the world.
Each institution and every person of good will desirous of helping to bear the burden of maintaining, preserving, and ensuring access to these most eloquent, authentic vestiges of the Holocaust and genocide is requested to contact:
PAŃSTWOWE MUZEUM AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU W OŚWIĘCIMIU
ul. Więźniów Oświęcimia 20
Tel. +48 33 844 8003
Fax. +48 33 843 1862
Bank account number: PL 29 1130 1150 0012 1268 9720 0001
Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego
ul. Stefana Batorego 14
SWIFT CODE: GOSKPLPW
It is also possible to make direct contributions to the Memorial at our website