Growing attendance and security at the Memorial
Over 250 thousand people visited the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp in the first three months of the year 2015. It is an over 40% rise in comparison with the same period of the previous year.
“The greatest change has so far been recorded in March. In 2014, 82 thousand people visited the Memorial Site at that time. In March this year, this number amounted to 130 thousand, i.e. was nearly 60% higher. In the previous years, so high number of visitors was characteristic rather for the summer months”, said Andrzej Kacorzyk, Deputy Director of the Museum.
“Going through the Auschwitz-Birkenau space is not an easy experience for anyone. This authentic place has become the symbol of evil for the entire world, which is manifested by an over threefold increase in attendance, interest of the media, Internet statistics as well as over half a billion people throughout the planet who watched the 70th anniversary of the liberation of KL Auschwitz live on television”, said Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, Director of the Museum.
“Current attendance made us – for various reasons, including security principles – change the rules of entering the former camp. Thanks to the rule of advance booking of the hour of visit, we can avoid congestion inside the former camp blocks and do not overload the existing infrastructure”, emphasized Piotr Cywiński.
Due to safety reasons, conservation requirements as well as in order to create the best possible conditions for learning about the history of this unique place, a strictly defined number of visitors can enter the former Auschwitz I camp in one hour and one group may not exceed 30 visitors.
“We already see that on particular hours, long waiting may be necessary in order to enter the former camp. If the attendance continues to grow in such a dynamic way in the months to follow, it may result in the fact that not all persons willing to enter the former camp and learn about the history of Auschwitz in its authentic space will be able to do it”, added Kacorzyk.
In view of the huge interest in the visit, special website visit.auschwitz.org has been created, which enables the booking of an individual visit of the Museum, as well as the visit with and educator. Online booking is the only way which guarantees the entrance to the Museum on a chosen day and hour.
Visitors also have to undergo safety control. “That is why we would like to ask all the persons who have booked the visit to arrive at the Museum at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the visit as well as to read the regulations available on the website”, said Andrzej Kacorzyk.
We remind that due to safety requirements, at the Museum premises it is forbidden among others to light candles outside designated areas as well as carry objects which may pose a threat to the life, health and safety. Smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes is also strictly forbidden in the entire area. Maximum dimensions of bags and backpacks that can be brought into the Museum are 30x20x10 cm. More details are presented in the Museum regulations.
In 2014, the premises of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz were visited by 1 534 000 people. Never before have so many people seen the former camp area themselves during one year. It is also the highest attendance in the history of European memorial sites.