Organization and cooperating partners
The National Fund is supported and assisted by committees and advisory boards throughout the renewal progress. In addition to the financial support of the participating Ministries and institutions, there are other cooperating partners making a decisive contribution to the success of the project.
Coordination Office at the National Fund
The National Fund bears the overall responsibility for realizing the project, with the new exhibition in Block 17 and the necessary renovation of the building forming the main point of focus. In order to accomplish this, an inter-departmental Coordination Office was established at the National Fund, headed by Claire Fritsch.
The new exhibition is being developed in close coordination with the ministries and institutions that are providing funding. The National Fund reaches its decisions in consensus with the Steering Committee. This is the committee representing the financing institutions and providers of technical assistance. These are: the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, the Federal Ministry of Education and Women, the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and the Economy, the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Provinces. The Steering Committee decides on the project’s targets, terms and distribution of resources.
Academic Advisory Board
The committee is composed of experts from the fields of contemporary history, Holocaust research, museum education and the culture of remembrance. The Advisory Board provides the project with academic assistance and submits its advice in the form of recommendations during the development process for the new exhibition’s concept.
The Advisory Board convened in November 2009 and voted to appoint honorary professor Dr. Wolfgang Neugebauer, former Director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, as its Chairperson, and Dr. Brigitte Halbmayr, Institute for Conflict Research, as its Deputy Chairperson. Since early 2014, Dr. Brigitte Halbmayr has been Chairperson and Dr. Karin Liebhart, Institute for Political Sciences of the University of Vienna, its Deputy Chairperson.
Societal Advisory Board
The Societal Advisory Board was established in January 2010. It is composed of representatives from victims’ organizations, religious communities, affected interest groups, memorial services and parliamentary factions. This broad range of members is intended to ensure that the new exhibition is met with a broad social consensus. In particular, the interests and concerns of the vicitms’ groups find a voice through the work of the Societal Advisory Board.
Its Chairperson is university lecturer Dr. Herta Neiß, secretary of the Camp Community Auschwitz. She is supported by Deputy Chairperson Albert Dlabaja from the Concentration Camp Association, Federal Alliance of Austrian Resistance Fighters and Victims of Fascism. Until his death on 12 March 2016, Prof. Rudolf Sarközi, Head of the Cultural Association of Austrian Roma, also lent his support to Dr. Neiß in the position of Deputy Chairperson. Honorary chairpersonship was held by Auschwitz survivor Norbert Lopper until his death in April 2015.
State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
The State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau was established on the site of the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz in Oświęcim in 1947. It has been a UNSECO World Heritage Site since 1979. As the Austrian exhibition will be displayed on the grounds of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, every step and all content must be agreed on with the museum. The National Fund must conclude contracts with the museum regarding the organization of the exhibition and the renovation of Block 17. The substantive, design and structural work all has to be agreed with the museum before it can be carried out and must comply with museum guidelines. These tasks can only be executed once an agreement has been reached.
In addition to the financial support of the mentioned ministries and institutions, there are other cooperating partners making a decisive contribution to the project’s success. The following are particularly worthy of note:
The procurement procedures necessary for the renewal are being undertaken with the close cooperation of the Procurement Office of the Federal Chancellery.
Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, with its satellite offices in Poland, is an important partner in the renewal process. The Austrian Embassy in Warsaw, the Honorary Consul in Krakow and experts from the Ministry in Vienna provide fundamental administrative and organizational assistance.
Federal Ministry of Defense and Sport
Successful cooperation with the Army Photographic and Film Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Defense and Sport enabled the photographic documentation of the 1978 exhibition.