Poland seeks foreign donations to preserve Auschwitz camp

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Poland has appealed for international donations to preserve facilities and exhibits at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz where more than one million Jews perished during World War Two.

The Auschwitz site, near the city of Krakow in southern Poland, comprises 155 camp buildings, 300 ruined facilities and hundreds of thousands of personal belongings and documents scattered over more than 200 hectares.

In a letter obtained by Reuters on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said those running the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum would set up a foundation to administer a special fund with a minimum capital of 120 million euros.

The museum itself lacks the resources to check the progressive decay and deterioration of its facilities and objects, Tusk said in his letter, dated February 10 but not previously made public.

Poland founded a museum on the site, known as Oswiecim in Polish, after the war. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the museum every year, passing through the iron gate bearing the motto "Arbeit macht frei" (work makes free).

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