Thursday, May 17, 2012

Canada Supports Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site

On May 14, 2012, the Canadian government announced that it is supporting Holocaust education, research and remembrance by announcing a $400,000 grant to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation in Poland. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made this announcement during the visit of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Canada.

The press release said that “Canada’s support for the Memorial Site will help with the conservation of the buildings, grounds, and the thousands of historical objects that are endangered by erosion and deterioration. The memorial is almost 200 hectares, and includes 155 buildings, 300 ruins, including those of the gas chambers and crematoria, over 100,000 personal items that belonged to the people who were killed, archival documents, and works of art by prisoners. The Auschwitz death camp is the only place of its kind entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and more than 1.3 million people from all over the world visit the site every year.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is a Polish non-governmental organization that seeks to preserve the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp by raising €120 million for the Perpetual Fund, whose sole purpose is to cover the conservation costs of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site. The Foundation was created in January 2009 by Professor Władysław Bartoszewski, a former Auschwitz prisoner and current chairman of the Auschwitz Council”.

To do more reading about the Polish people in Canada, here are some websites which may interest you - 

Poles Dominik Barcz was the first Polish person in Canada, and he came in 1752. Read about the impact the Polish people have had on the history of the country.

Resources for Polish-American and Polish-Canadian Genealogical Research Ed Brant gives the researcher a overview of books and articles.

Polish Canadians Gives a brief history of the Polish people in Canada, and a long list of notable Polish Canadians.  

Wilno Visit Canada's oldest Polish community, Wilno, located in Eastern Ontario, having been settled in the 1800s.