Vatican Donates €100,000 to Auschwitz Upkeep

2014-7-3-auschwitz-theft
The entrance to Auschwitz II, Birkenau.
Photo: David Bañuls/Flickr.

 

2014-7-3-auschwitz-theft

The entrance to Auschwitz II, Birkenau.
Photo: David Bañuls/Flickr.

The Vatican has donated €100,000 ($125,000) to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation towards the preservation of the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, southern Poland, Art Daily reports.

The Vatican is the 31st state to donate to the foundation, which has raised €102 million in pledges, including €60 million from the German government.

Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, told Art Daily: “Given our limited resources, the amount is very small, but it is an expression of our full support for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.”

The Catholic Church, especially wartime Pope Pius XII, has faced criticism in the past over its nonintervention during the Jew Holocaust. In June, the current pontiff, Pope Francis, defended his predecessor, saying it was unfair to “pick on” the former Pope.

According to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation website, one million Jews died in the camp, located in the city of Oświęcim, between 1940 and 1945. Over 100,000 non-Jewish Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, and anti-Nazi resistance members were also killed there.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum attracts one million visitors annually. The former concentration camp has become a Holocaust memorial, and its upkeep is seen as an essential part of educating and warning future generations of the dangers of racial and anti-Semitic intolerance.


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