A decree on 13 October 1953 set up a national committee for the erection of a deportation memorial at Struthof. It organised the national fundraising drive for the building of a monument in homage to the victims of the deportation, which was announced the same day.
On 2 December 1954 the committee’s executive board was created by a decree putting it in charge of taking all the necessary steps for building and preserving the memorial.
The board’s permanent activities were on hold between 1961 and 1964.
The minister of veterans’ affairs and war victims, Jean Sainteny (former head of the Alliance network in Normandy), re-activated it on 2 March 1964. Its members were appointed by decree and consulted for the organisation of the national ceremony in June. The board met several times a year and helped to maintain the camp, create a museum inside one of the barracks and erect the statue of a reclining figure at the site’s entrance.
Today, the executive board, which is still made up of former Resistance members and deportees, remains the moral authority that ensures the Natzweiler-Struthof site’s long-term existence in the respect of history and memory. Its members are the guardians of remembrance and see to it that the camp’s history and the memory of those who suffered and died there are passed on visitors.