Auschwitz Camp

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd January 2015.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to mark the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The UK will be represented at the official commemoration ceremony for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau to be held in Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The delegation will include survivors of Auschwitz, the British Ambassador to Warsaw, representatives of the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

The UK has donated £2.1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. We have been very closely involved in the efforts made by the Foundation to raise the remaining amount for the Perpetual Fund that will enable the Museum and Memorial to function indefinitely. Our Ambassador in Warsaw has been helping to lead efforts to engage the private sector in supporting the Fund, including by hosting a meeting to discuss how to assist the Foundation in promoting the idea of 18 Pillars of Remembrance – involving substantial contributions by private donors.

The Government supports the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to deliver the national commemoration and local activities across the UK, and will be represented at a senior level at this year’s commemoration. Holocaust Memorial Day 2014 was the most successful to date with 2,400 activities having taken place. Reflecting our Chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, we have encouraged our Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates around the world to make a special effort this year to host or sponsor various activities on 27 January to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. We hosted a major Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 21 January in partnership with the Embassy of Israel in London.

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