Governor-General of Australia David Hurley at the Auschwitz Memorial
Governor-General of Australia David Hurley, together with his wife Linda, visited the Auschwitz Memorial. They commemorated the victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp by laying a wreath by the Death Wall as well as they made their entry in the Memorial Book.
Honorable visitors were welcomed by Museum Director Piotr Cywiński, Ph.D. Before the visit, they discussed current condition of historical memory. The Governor, together with his wife, passed through the historical Arbeit Macht Frei gate and visited Block 5 where they saw personal belongings of Holocaust victims. By the Execution Wall in the courtyard of Block 11, where the Germans shot about 5.5 thousand people, mainly Poles, prisoners incarcerated at camp detention and so called police prisoners sentenced to death by gestapo summary court, a wreath was laid, as a symbol of paying homage to all camp victims.
The delegation visited also the "Shoah” Jewish exhibition in Block 27 prepared by the Yad Vashem Institute. At the end of the visit, within former Auschwitz I camp premises, the visitors saw the building of the first gas chamber and crematorium as well as made the following entry in Museum Memorial Book: “It is an important time of reflection on the evil of the past. I am full of gratitude for all staff members working so hard on the preservation of the memory of all those who found themselves in this death camp and other institutions of this kind. We can never forget”.
Australia is one of the states involved in the creation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Endowment Fund. The purpose of the Foundation consists in financing the long-term program of conservation of the areas and remnants of former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz.
One of Foundation donors is also Frank Lowy, a Holocaust Survivor, founder of the Australian company Westfield Group. His support made it possible to perform the conservation of a historical wagon placed in 2010 on the ramp within former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. The wagon commemorates over 400 thousand Jews from Hungary deported to Auschwitz from May to July 1944. It stands in the place where SS doctors used to perform their selection, sending most of deported individuals to death in gas chambers.