The German government signed an agreement Monday to provide 5 million euros for the construction of a museum in the Polish capital of Warsaw to document the millennium-long history and culture of Jews in Poland.

The agreement, signed by German Ambassador Michael Gerdts and a Polish sponsorship group, will make funds available for the preparations for the museum's permanent exhibition.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is set to open in 2010, across from a memorial to those killed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.

Before the Nazi German invasion in September 1939, 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland. By 1945, most had been murdered by the Nazis.

Gerdts said the engagement by the German government was meant as a further contribution to redress the great suffering that "was inflicted in the name of Germany upon the Jews in this country and thereby upon the whole of Poland as well."

"It is also to make clear that Germans continue to acknowledge their responsibility for this tragic past," the ambassador said.

The signing took place in a Warsaw office building that was the site of Warsaw's Grand Synagogue prior to World War II.

Speaking at the signing, former Polish foreign minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski mentioned that Juergen Stroop, the SS commander responsible for crushing the Warsaw ghetto uprising, ordered the synagogue to be blown up as a symbolic gesture that no Jewish areas remained in Warsaw.

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