1,534,000 people visited the grounds of the former Nazi German Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in 2014. Never before in the space of a single year have so many people familiarized themselves at first hand with the original grounds. This is also the highest attendance in the history of European memorial sites.
"The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial
has become the world's symbol of the Holocaust and the crimes of World War II. Without the reference to the history of this place it would be hard for new generations to understand our reality and challenges of the contemporary world, said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz Memorial.
People visit both parts of the former camp: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Within the top ten countries from which our visitors come are: Poland (398 thousand visitors), Great Britain (199 thousand), USA (92 thousand), Italy (84 thousand) as well as Germany (75 thousand), Israel (62 thousand), Spain (55 thousand) France (54 thousand), Czech Republic (52 thousand) and South Korea (41 thousand).
Almost 70 percent of those who come to the Museum are young people. These visits are often made possible thanks to special programs underwritten by governments, regions, or non-profit organizations that appreciate the value of this kind of education on the road to adulthood, said Andrzej Kacorzyk, the director of the International Center for education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
The decided majority of the visitors to the Memorial are guided in one of 19 languages by specially trained educators. This is an outcome of the conviction that people should be able to encounter such challenging subjects in their mother tongue. No other Museum in the world offers such an opportunity.
The interest in visiting the Memorial with an educator also increased among individual visitors. Over 307,000 people use this option of the visit in 2014.
The highest attendance last year was registered in August almost 210,000 people, the lowest in January the Memorial was visited then by over 45,000 people.
Besides of guiding huge number of visitors at the authentic Memorial site, an important part of the educational activity of the Museum are all project for people who wish to deepen their knowledge about Auschwitz. Over 10,000 people from all around the world participated in different educational projects, seminars, conferences or study visits in 2014.
The story of Auschwitz also evokes great interest in the media. Over the course of the year, several hundred journalists and 180 professional film crews from over 30 countries worked at the Memorial.
A special online service visit.auschwitz.org has been established in view of the enormous interest in the Memorial. It provides a convenient way to reserve the dates for visits. The new system also enhances the security and conditions of visits.