EU Donates $5.3 Million for Auschwitz Preservation

Women's barracks at the Birkenau part of camp to be preserved, security improved, database system expanded, and exhibition of inmate suitcases modernized.

Authorities at the Auschwitz memorial say that the European Commission has donated 4 million Euros ($5.3 million) to help preserve the site of the World War II Nazi death camp.

Authorities said in a statement Wednesday that the money will be used to help preserve the women's barracks at the Birkenau part of the camp. It will also be used to strengthen and improve the security of the archive building, to expand the database system and to modernize the exhibition of the inmates' suitcases.

Auschwitz sign

The authorities said in a communiqué that the funds were offered as a result of talks between French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

At least 1.1 million people - mostly Jews - died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz or from starvation, disease and forced labor at the camp that German Nazis built in occupied Poland during World War II, which was only liberated at the end of the war in 1945.