Exceptionally difficult year. 502,000 visitors at the Auschwitz Memorial in 2020.
In 2020, a total of 502,000 people visited the Auschwitz Memorial. It is nearly five times less than a year ago. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the number of visitors to the Memorial in 2020.
In 2020, the vast majority of visitors (some 83 percent) learned about the history of Auschwitz with more than 300 guides who conduct tours of the Museum exhibition and historical site in 22 languages.
The Museum was closed to the visitors for more than 5 months because of the pandemic. The terms and conditions of tours and the space of the permanent exhibition have been adapted to the new sanitary restrictions. We have also reduced the number of persons who can stay at the site simultaneously. The attendance during the epidemic was barely 20% compared to the corresponding months of 2019.
‘2020 was an exceptionally difficult year. The Museum was closed to visitors for several months. It is an entirely unprecedented and exceptional situation. The dramatic drop in the number of visitors caused a severe slump in the Museum's budget, which resulted in the discontinuation of many priority investments, activities and projects. We extend our sincere gratitude to every person, institution and organisation that has supported us financially in this difficult situation,’ said Museum Director Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
The Museum still faces a very uncertain financial situation. Therefore, we continue to ask for your help and support for our mission.
The prolonged closure of the Museum, the temporary closure of schools, restrictions on travel and the resulting slump in the budget had a considerable impact on the activities of the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
‘We moved online several educational programmes and projects. Regrettably, we had to cancel some significant projects or postpone their implementation to another date. What hurts the most is the inability to receive visitors at the Memorial,’ said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the ICEAH.
‘Despite these difficult circumstances, we are very happy that more than 3,000 young people from all over the world, including 90% from outside of Poland, participated in one-day study visits. The programme "We were united by Independet Poland" was also fully implemented. Interestingly, it started as a series of stationary visits and developed into an exciting virtual trip to the Memorial,’ added Andrzej Kacorzyk.
In this period of the pandemic, the building of a virtual community of remembrance through activities on the Internet and social media relating to both commemoration and education has become particularly significant.
Over 1.5 million people use content published via the Memorial’s official accounts. On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the number of followers of the Museum’s Twitter account exceeded one million; in January 2020 alone, our tweets had over 277 million impressions.
In 2020, the Auschwitz Museum’s website recorded over 16 million page views. It is also worth noting that many people have taken advantage of our online educational opportunities. Interest in a virtual visit, using the panorama.auschwitz.org website, increased by over 100% in comparison with the previous year. In 2020, over 330 thousand people benefited from this form of learning about the authentic site and the accounts of its witnesses.
Our most profound online educational resources are our online lessons. The main lesson on the history of Auschwitz is available in many languages (English, Arabic, Greek, Spanish, Dutch, German, Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Hungarian). A total of 26 lessons in English and Polish, most of which have been adapted to mobile devices, are available at lesson.auschwitz.org.