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Information about the Foundation

Foundation "Polish-German Reconciliation" Non-Profit-Organisation founded in 1991, based on a treaty between the governments of the Republic of Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany Work for:
the Victims of the Third Reich and of the Nazi repression
the German-Polish reconciliation
Dialogue between societies and generations

The Foundation for Polish-German Reconciliation was established in 1992 to carry out vital goals, enclosed in the Status of the Foundation. To start with, financial aid for the former prisoners of concentration camps and people forced to slave labour in the Third Reich has been provided. Secondly, any other assistance for the Polish victims of Nazi occupation has been ensured. Moreover, the Foundation has carried out numerous educational projects that aim to spread knowledge and remembrance of World War II. Last but not least, cooperation between Poland and Germany has always been a key task of the institution.

Since the very beginning of our existence, we have paid financial aid of more than 4.7 billion PLN (1.3 billion Euro) to over 700.000 victims. The financial resources for these aids were obtained from various institutions from abroad - mostly from the Federal Foundation "Memory, Responsibility and Future", the Austrian Fund for "Reconciliation, Peace and Cooperation", from the fund known as the London Fund of Plundered Gold for Survivors of the Holocaust and from the Swiss Fund for the Benefit of the Victims of the Holocaust/Shoa.

The amount of files which we have gathered during the process of paying financial aids to the victims sums up to 5 kilometres. The files contain detailed accounts of e.g. stays in concentration camps, basing on which the financial aid was granted. This archive is one of the most important sources of knowledge about the victims of the Nazi regime. Furthermore, it contains one of the largest collections of original documents, photos and letters, which were donated by the Nazi victims or their descendants. The content of the archives and the direct contact to contemporary victims have frequently been used for various scientific research and educational projects.

Many stays at healthy resorts, in sanatoriums, as well as free implantations of artificial limbs were arranged in Polish, German and Austrian hospitals. The Foundation also tries to obtain necessary remedial equipment for those in need . Moreover, we are glad that we managed to arrange free legal aids and appointments with specialists of geriatric medicine.

The offer also contains workshops and trainings aiming to integrate the former Nazi victims into social life. The idea behind this project is to motivate the victims of the Nazi regime for mutual looking after. Active seniors who are still able to dedicate some of their free time to support those in need of help, can take part in various aid-programs and help Nazi victims.

The idea of an active support for the Nazi victims attracts people of all ages, especially youth. Our young volunteers help with daily shopping or house work, yet, these contacts often mean much more than this- the close relation between a young person and a contemporary witnesses evolves in a true friendship. This encounter of generations is a valuable experience for both sides. For the volunteers, it is a way to "understand" history, while for the elderly people, who often face loneliness, these meetings are an opportunity for personal contact, joy and warmth.

Apart from Poles, young Germans are the largest group interested in the voluntary work. During their service they are fully integrated into the working procedures of the Foundation. To mention just some of these activities: they are involved in organizing conferences, exhibitions or meetings, they visit Nazi victims in their houses, record their statements and memories. Some of the students who work as volunteers also bring these personal experiences into their academic work.

The Foundation cooperates with NGO's from Poland, Germany and other countries, as well as with national governmental and financial institutions and several private persons.

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