563,000 visitors to the Museum in 2021
A little over 563,000 people visited the Memorial in 2021. It is a slight increase compared to the previous year; however, it is worth remembering that in the period before the pandemic, over two million people visited the Museum every year.
‘The situation is still difficult, as such a drop in visitor numbers, as well as different restrictions due to the pandemic, affect various aspects of the Museum's work. Nevertheless - especially during the summer months - we could see an increase in attendance year-on-year, up to 60-70 per cent. I hope that this is a sign of a gradual return to normal activity’, said Auschwitz Museum Director Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
Due to COVID-19, the Museum was closed to visitors for 98 days of the year.
The effect of ongoing travel restrictions are refleted in the statistics. Although the number of people visiting the Memorial from abroad increased, they accounted for 51 per cent of all visitors. In the pre-pandemic period, it was usually around 80 per cent.
The vast majority of visitors, 84 per cent, learned about the history of Auschwitz from educator-guides showing them around the Museum exhibitions and site.
‘Despite the pandemic and the exceptionally long period during which the Museum remained inaccessible to visitors, the number of guides working with the Museum remained at the level of previous years. There are currently 340 guides, giving tours in 21 languages. While it is true that many have had to find additional employment, the reopening of the Museum in the second half of the year has resulted in guides gradually returning to work with visitors,’ said Andrzej Kacorzyk, the director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
In the difficult epidemic situation, it was possible to organise almost 250 different types of educational activities at the Memorial, including workshops, presentations, talks and lectures. One of the responses to the challenge of the pandemic era has been the visible development of additional online activities. Our international educational conference on exclusions in the modern world took place exclusively in the online space. A novelty was the introduction of remote study visits, in which 41 groups participated.
More than 1.7 million people use the content published on the official pages of the Memorial in social media. The number of followers of the Museum's English-language Twitter account exceeded 1.2 million, and our tweets had 1 billion 670 million impressions throughout 2021.
Over 16.5 million page views were recorded on the Museum's website in 2021. An essential aspect of education during the pandemic is the online lessons available at lesson.auschwitz.org. The main one, dedicated to the comprehensive history of Auschwitz, is already available in twelve languages.
A new way of disseminating knowledge about the history of Auschwitz online is the series of bilingual podcasts "On Auschwitz" available on all major podcast services. Topics discussed so far include the transformation of Birkenau into an extermination centre, the fate of the Roma and Sinti in Auschwitz, and the history of the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp. So far, the 14 episodes have been streamed almost 120,000 times.