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MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

News

1 million 670 thousand people visited the Memorial in 2023

03-01-2024

In 2023, over 1.67 million people visited the Auschwitz Memorial. This is 41 percent more than the previous year, indicating a slow return to the situation before the global pandemic.

 

‘Today, the memory of the tragic events of Auschwitz not only serves as the foundation for protecting the world from the destructive impact of any ideologies of hatred and prejudice but also shapes our moral responsibility. The fact that almost 90 percent of the Museum visitors expand their historical awareness under the guidance of our educators is of fundamental importance,’ said the Museum's director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.

‘Walking through the authentic post-camp space becomes not only the acquisition of knowledge, of facts or dates, but a profound personal experience that prompts reflection on our own ethical attitudes. Moreover, people worldwide will now have the opportunity to use a groundbreaking, globally unique tool – a platform allowing online live guided tours," emphasized Director Cywiński.

Thanks to the application "Auschwitz in Front of Your Eyes," millions of people will gain access to authentic spaces of Auschwitz and Birkenau. The platform will serve for visiting the former camp with a guide online. The narration will be conducted live, and the educator will also use multimedia materials, archival photographs, artistic works, documents, and testimonies of Survivors.

The project was developed in cooperation between the Museum, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, Israeli companies AppsFlyer and DISKIN, and with the support of specialized firms such as Orange, as well as the involvement of many governmental and private donors.

Currently, 324 guides give tours at the Memorial in 20 languages. The largest group of visitors in 2023 came from Poland. The following countries from which visitors came were the United Kingdom, Czechia, Germany, Spain, the United States, Italy, France, Slovakia, and the Netherlands. Nearly two-thirds of reservations are made through the visit.auschwitz.org website, where some visitors choose to financially support the mission of the Memorial Site through the pay-what-you-want system.

The number of participants in study visits, an extended form of a visit with additional educational activities, increased by over 12 percent. Over half of the 21.4 thousand participants were from abroad. "In total, the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust organized over 930 various educational activities as part of these visits. Systemic public support for bringing students to the Memorial Site is particularly important. Additionally, the ICEAH hosted many conferences and seminars, including an international educational conference dedicated to new technologies in education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust," said Andrzej Kacorzyk, the director of ICEAH.

The significant increase in attendance in the 21st century posed a challenge for the Museum to create a completely new Visitor Services Center, opened on 14 June 2023. Its idea was to integrate various functions such as ensuring safety, visitor comfort, and access to essential services.

The project by the Kozień Architekci company allowed preserving the historical building, which housed a slaughterhouse and dairy during the camp's existence. This space is connected to the Memorial site by two underground passages.

Next to the Center, a modern three-story hostel is being built. The created accommodation base will provide lodging for volunteers, interns, teachers, and individuals participating in longer study stays, conferences, or seminars in the future.

These investments are funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the support of Ronald S. Lauder and Joel and Ulrika Citron, earmarked grants from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Museum's own funds.

Part of the new center project also included the renovation of the cinema hall. An 8-minute film directed by David Conover and created thanks to the Lewis Family Foundation can be viewed there. American actor Mark Hamill supported the Museum and recorded the voiceover of the English. In 2023, the film was watched by over 250 thousand people.

An important element of our education is the virtual community of memory on social media. Over 2.35 million people use the content posted on the Museum's official accounts, and the Museum's posts have been viewed over 1 billion 158 million. The number of followers on the Museum's official X account exceeded 1.6 million. In 2023, the Museum also created an official account on Threads.

A significant part of teaching are online lessons available on the lesson.auschwitz.org website, as well as a series of bilingual podcasts "On Auschwitz" available on all major global platforms. So far, 41 podcast episodes have been played over 1.5 million times.