In 2012, in a Czech-German joint project together with the European Shoah Legacy Institute, the Bundesverband Information & Beratung für NS-Verfolgte e.V. (Federal Association for Information and Advice for Victims of Nazi Persecution) conducted a critical needs enquiry at memorials within the European Union, which documents the actual conditions of the memorials and the future necessary expenses. The cooperation partners of the “Bundesverband” were the International Auschwitz Committee and the Association of Freed Political Prisoners and Their Relatives in the Czech Republic (SOPVP). The Czech-German Foundation for the Future financially supported the project.

The project "Requirements Study for the Preservation of Concentration Camp Memorials and Other Memorial Sites for the Victims of the Nazi Regime in the European Union” was initiated in response to the so-called "Legacy of the Survivors." This legacy is part of the resolution “Preserve Remembrance - Conserve Authentic Sites - Assume Responsibility”, which was adopted by the representatives of ten international concentration camp committees in 2009. In this resolution, Germany and Europe were strongly urged to preserve the authentic sites of remembrance and to continue to promote civic education in these places. At the ensuing "Holocaust Era Assets Conference" in Prague, the concerns of the survivors were taken up and included in the "Terezin Declaration" and in the "Joint Declaration," which defined the support of the European memorials and their work as a pan-European task. This political declaration of purpose was adopted by 46 governments - including all EU Member States - and signed by four EU Commissioners. The Czech government, which also presided over the European Council in the first half of 2009, indicated during and after the conference that it was willing to support the cause of the survivors and work towards a future European funding concept for the memorials and sites of learning.
In order for these declarations of intent to be promptly followed by action, the “Bundesverband”, in a Czech-German joint project together with the European Shoah Legacy Institute, conducted a needs query, which documents the actual conditions and the future necessary expenses at memorials within the European Union. The cooperation partners of the “Bundesverband” were the International Auschwitz Committee and the Association of Freed Political Prisoners and Their Relatives in the Czech Republic (SOPVP). The Czech-German Foundation for the Future financially supported the project.
At the beginning of the needs query, 259 memorial sites in 19 countries were identified, stored in a database and subsequently contacted by email; enquiries were made using an Internet questionnaire that was individually protected. 128 memorial sites in 14 countries participated in the investigation - which for an online survey is a very good response rate.
Although not all of the approached memorials participated in the survey, the content of the responses somewhat reflects the overall situation in the EU - therefore projections made on the basis of the responses received are both possible and reasonable, even though they can only lead to a rough estimate of the total needs.
It is quite evident that the European memorials have considerable needs – and not only in the locations from which we received actual figures.
Within the respective countries we can by no means speak about homogenous situations with regard to memorials - the differences from country to country are quite considerable, and everywhere the individual interests of the memorials can hardly be reconciled with each other.
However, many authentic places of memory need help, and it makes sense to continue along the trodden path. Also in this regard, the present study plays an important role in initiating an urgently needed process of communication.
Alongside the opportunity to continue with this commenced survey with greater personnel and financial resources, it appears that it is also necessary to establish this project in the memorial sites of the 19 countries as an important topical subject. In conferences and exchange visits, in national and international joint ventures at these sites, a realistic way forward needs to be discussed with the aim, in the final analysis, of making a coordinated solicitation for support from the European Union. The study was submitted to the European Shoah Legacy Institute for further use, and we are very happy about having made a contribution to the sustainable preservation of the European memorials with our project.