German companies Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen and football club Borussia Dortmund announced that they would donate €5 million to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem.
The companies view their effort as “a clear sign of our solidarity with the victims of the Holocaust, and as our responsibility, past and future, in the fight against racism and antisemitism.”
Yad Vashem houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts from the time of the Holocaust, and in light of the significant increase in objects donated to the institution, new space will now be created for the archiving, research and restoration of those objects.
The aim of the expansion is to secure and protect the museum’s collection so that it can be handed down to future generations. Construction of the new 4,200 square meter (45,000 square foot) Shoah Heritage Collections Centre is scheduled to begin on August 1, 2019.
Since its founding in 1953, Yad Vashem has endeavored to collect the names of every victim of the Holocaust, as well as all information and objects that it can in an effort to explain to the world the fate of six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
“Commemorate, document, research and teach — these are the foundational pillars upon which Yad Vashem rests. It is our honour and obligation to strengthen them. Coming generations must be taught of the suffering that one group of people can inflict upon another. We are thus committing ourselves to understanding between nations, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence,” the companies announced in Berlin.
The chairman of the German Friends of Yad Vashem, former Bild newspaper editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann, said that he was “wholeheartedly” overjoyed over the five companies’ commitment “to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and the commemoration of its victims for future generations.”
The German Friends of Yad Vashem was founded in Frankfurt in 1997 and is now based in Berlin. As part of an international network, the association seeks to support Yad Vashem’s work to commemorate the Holocaust, learn from the lessons of that period, and keep those memories alive in order to keep them from being forgotten, passing them along to future generations.