Auschwitz-Birkenau has announced donations of $5.5 million for the development of a new Visitor Service Center, after issuing a tender for the project.
Earlier this year, Auschwitz-Birkenau issued a tender to find a main contractor for the Visitor Service Center, set to complete in 2022.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is located on the site of two parts of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.
The financial support will go towards developing the infrastructure for the Visitor Service Center at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Piotr M A Cywiński, said: “The project of the new Visitor Service Centre is an undertaking befitting the 21st century.
Auschwitz-Birkenau developing new visitor centre
“The new infrastructure will include a new car park and a new entrance to the museum, as well as a new exhibition space, cinema and hostel for the needs of education, conferences and volunteer work.
“Such ambitious investments would not have been possible without the help of private donors – people who entirely and responsibly feel that memory has a great role to play.”
Ronald S Lauder, who donated $5m, said: “Preserving Auschwitz-Birkenau has been one of my greatest priorities since I first walked through the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate 40 years ago.
“Back in the 1980s, I saw how much there is still to be done to maintain it since the end of the war and I knew that within a short time, there would be nothing left for future generations to see.
“If there was nothing left to see, people would never believe what really happened there.”
New cinema, hostel, exhibition space and entrance
Joel Citron and his wife Ulrika, who gave half a million dollars, said: “This is being done so that we may speak loudly to honour those who perished and those who survived.
“This is being done so that we speak clearly today and in the future. This is being done so that we stand up firmly against antisemitism and bigotry.”
Speaking to Blooloop, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s Dr. Piotr M A Cywiński previously discussed the museum’s unique function and responsibility.