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Wojtek the Bear to get Krakow Statue

KRAKOW TOURS: British historian Professor Norman Davies has welcomed a decision by Krakow councillors to erect a statue of Wojtek the Bear, who ‘served’ with Polish soldiers during World War II.

The Bear That Went To War

“Polish history is very often tragic, it’s heavy on the emotions – people talk about it sometimes in sacred tones,” he told Polish Radio’s English Section on Thursday at a press conference at Krakow’s town hall.

“And this is a heart-warming, natural, human way into that whole subject.”

Wojtek was a Syrian bear who was adopted by the Polish Second Corps, a formation chiefly made up of men released from Soviet labour camps after Stalin was compelled to sign an amnesty in 1941.

“Wojtek is not just a nice story about a bear who became a soldier. He’s a symbol of a big group of people – 100,000 strong and more – who came out of Stalin’s Russia,” Davies reflected.

via Krakow votes for WWII soldier bear statue – National.

April 28, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Auschwitz visitors, almost 1.4 million in 2010.

KRAKOW TOURS – As many as 1.38 million visited the site of the German Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in 2010, the museum has announced.

The record high attendance in the 60-year history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum in Oświęcim, southern Poland, topped the previous year’s attendance of 1.3 million.

The numbers soared despite the air traffic freeze following the volcano eruption in Iceland and the May floods in the southern and central parts of the country.

“The former death camp is the most frequented memorial site in the world,” said museum spokesperson Bartosz Bartyzel.

Apart from 530,000 Poles visiting, the largest group coming to Auschwitz last year were British, accounting for 84,000 people, followed by Italians, numbering 74,000 and 63,000 French nationals.

Up to 850,000 visitors were students.

The museum’s staff member Andrzej Kacorzyk has pointed to the increasing number of foreigners from European countries and the Far East: “Last year the Memorial Site was visited by more inhabitants of South Korea than the US citizens,” he said.

There is also a growing interest in the museum’s multilingual guided tours and educational programmes

The Auschwitz Nazi death camp complex, established in 1940, claimed the lives of over 1.1 million people.

Auschwitz Trips with Krakow Tours.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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