Delegation of the Evangelical Church in Germany at the Memorial
The delegation of representatives of the Evangelical Church in Germany, headed by Dr. Irmgard Schwaetze and Bishop Dr. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, visited the Memorial during their two-day visit.
The visit began with participation in the ceremonies commemorating the 76th anniversary of the liquidation of Roma in Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
During their two-day visit, the delegation visited a large part of the museum exhibition, including Block 5, where they saw personal belongings of the Holocaust victims, found in warehouses after the liberation of the camp. They include shoes, suitcases, prostheses, glasses and kitchen utensils.
In front of the Death Wall in the courtyard of Block 11, where the Germans shot about 5.5 thousand people, mainly Poles, prisoners in camp custody and the so-called police prisoners sentenced to death by the summary court of the Gestapo, the guests laid wreaths, paying tribute to all the victims of the camp.
German Evangelicals also saw the "Shoah" exhibition in Block 27 prepared by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem in cooperation with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, as well as the exhibition in Block 13 devoted to the extermination of European Roma.
The next day, the delegation visited the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. Among others they say a freight car standing on the unloading ramp, through which from May 1944 transports of deportees to the camp entered the camp - mainly Jews, from Hungary and the liquidated Litzmannstadt ghetto, but also Poles deported to Auschwitz from the Warsaw Uprising. On the ramp, SS physicians selected the imported Jews, usually sending most of the deported to immediate death in gas chambers. Wreaths were laid on the monument to the victims in Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
The Evangelical Church in Germany supported educational activities at the Memorial with the amount of EUR 25,000.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial was closed to visitors for over three months. Currently, attendance is almost four times lower than usual. Consequently, the Museum was deprived of its largest source of funding. Unfortunately, most of the educational, research, exhibition and publishing projects have been closed or postponed.
The director of the Museum, Piotr M. A. Cywiński, PhD, made an appeal for financial support to all those for whom the Memory of Auschwitz and the preservation of the historical site for future generations is important.