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Auschwitz draws record number of visitors

The former Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz attracted 1 million 534 thousand visitors in 2014.

The figure is an all-time record not only for Auschwitz, but for all European sites of remembrance.

The director of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr Cywinski, has said that Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of the Holocaust and of the World War Two crime of genocide, a place which for present generations is a key to understanding the realities of today and the challenges facing the contemporary world.

According to Pawel Sawicki of the Auschwitz Museum Press Office, Poles constitute the most numerous national group among the visitors.

Yet, the number of Polish visitors fell from 610, 000 in 2011 to just under 400, 000 last year. The falling trend is attributed to recent changes in the school curriculum and the lack of a government programme of financing youth visits to remembrance sites.

There were 199, 000 visitors from Britain, 92, 000 from the United States, 84, 000 from Italy and 75, 000 from Germany.

Israelis, Spaniards, French, Czechs and South Koreans were next on the list of the most sizeable national groups.

Around 10, 000 people from around the world took part in various educational projects in Auschwitz. The site was also visited by several hundred journalists and 180 film crews from over 30 countries.

On 27 January, ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by the Soviet Army will bring together up to 300 of its former prisoners. The most sizeable group – numbering about 100 persons – will be of Polish inmates of the camp. Roughly the same number of people will come from around the world thanks to financial support from the World Jewish Congress. Former Auschwitz prisoners will also come as members of official state delegations.

And on Wednesday, 7 January, a group of Polish inmates of Auschwitz will take part in an audience with Pope Francis. They will present the Pontiff with the ‘Gift of Remembrance’ Statuette of the International Auschwitz Committee. Members of the Polish group will include the writer Zofia Posmysz, author of the novel The Passenger, which was made into a film and an opera.

The concentration camp of Auschwitz was founded in 1940. Some 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, but also Poles, Soviet POWs, Roma and Sinti, as well as people of other nationalities perished in the camp. It was liberated by the Soviet Army on 27 January 1945.

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Auschwitz | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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February 8, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Tour Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Government to assist with Auschwitz funding.

KRAKOW TOURS – The UK government is set to contribute £2.1m towards the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, it has been announced.

The joint contribution will mainly be provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Foreign Office.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation will be funded over the next three years.

More than a million people were murdered by the Nazis at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.

The concentration camp was the largest site for the mass murder of Jews.

In recent years a number of countries have contributed to the fund to maintain the main concentration camp, Auschwitz, and its nearby satellite camp of Birkenau.

Auschwitz and Birkenau were operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II, and opened as a museum in 1947.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the camp, which stands as an enduring symbol of the Holocaust, was an importance place of remembrance which served to educate people about the horrors of the Holocaust.

Speaking at the Jewish Museum in London, he said: “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Auschwitz-Birkenau stands as a perpetual reminder of the pain and destructive force of hate.

“We must ensure that the lessons from the Holocaust are taught today and to future generations.”

And Foreign Secretary William Hague said Auschwitz-Birkenau underlined “the horrific consequences of intolerance”.

Mr Hague said he was “proud that the UK is able to play a part in commemorating the millions of victims who died there” and was helping to ensure the camp’s preservation to educate future generations on “the evils of that period in history”.

And Lord Greville Janner of Braunstone, who chairs the Holocaust Educational Trust, said the financial support sends a clear message that the camp should be maintained for future generations.

He said: “Through our Lessons from Auschwitz Project, the Holocaust Educational Trust gives over 3,000 British students each year the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“This announcement will ensure that when young people visit Auschwitz, they will see for themselves what can happen when racism and prejudice is allowed to go unchecked.”

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Events, 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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