Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says Germany will pay $80 million over the next year into a new fund for Auschwitz-Birkenau to preserve barracks, gas chambers and other evidence of Nazi crimes at the former death camp.

Westerwelle said Wednesday it's Germany's historical responsibility to educate this and future generations about the Holocaust. At least 1.1 million people, primarily Jews, were killed at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

The donation is about half of what experts believe is needed. Auschwitz memorial spokesman Jaroslaw Mensfelt says the U.S. has pledged $15 million, Austria 6 million, and other countries have promised smaller amounts.

The aim is to preserve the sprawling site, which draws 1 million visitors per year.