Ontario-based fundraiser seeks Canadian support for Auschwitz preservation

Canadians Remember is a fundraising effort to support the preservation of the world’s largest former concentration camp.

The goal of the project is to raise 2.5 million dollars for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation through $1 donations.

Erin Walker, the coordinator of Canadians Remember hopes at least 2.5 million Canadians will donate a loony.

Auschwitz-BirkenauThe Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has promised a Pillar of Remembrance for the Campaign at Auschwitz, if they can raise at least €1 million. Walker and her team are aiming for that number by 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.

The small advertising and marketing firm in London, Ont. behind Canadians Remember visited the concentration camp while on a trip to meet their sister company in Poland. The former camp receives about 1 million visitors each year.

“The events of the Holocaust are certainly something that still resonates today. It’s still a relevant issue; it’s not ancient history yet.”
– Erin Walker
“We’re very moved by the experience of going there, and when we looked into it, we were surprised that Canada hadn’t contributed more,” Walker said.

“The idea behind [Canadians Remember] is that Canada should be contributing funding more in line with Germany and the United States.”

Although the government did donate $400,000 to the foundation in 2012, which is a substantial amount, this number doesn’t begin to compare to the millions donated by other countries.

The US is the fund’s second largest donor, having given $15 million. The largest donor is Germany with €60 million in donations. The Auschwitz-Birkenau foundation hopes to create a Perpetual Fund to support conservation work of the Holocaust’s largest concentration camp. The goal of the Perpetual Fund is €120 million.

Canada’s Jewish population is the fourth largest in the world with an estimated 380,000 people. Holocaust survivors, Jews that fled Europe, and their descendants are now all important members of Canadian society.

Download : Michelle Pucci interview with Erin Walker – MP3

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