From 7 May the Auschwitz Memorial will be temporarily open to visitors Friday through Sunday
From 7 May the Auschwitz Museum will be temporarily open to visitors Friday through Sunday.
“Last autumn and in February this year, the number of visitors during the week was very low. The reason behind this is, of course, the ongoing pandemic. Most schools and universities are operating remotely, and cross-border traffic is extremely difficult. It places us in a tough financial situation, which is, unfortunately, getting worse by the day,” said Museum Director Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
“To attend to visitors and also ensure safety on the historic site, we have deployed a large team of employees, whose number cannot be reduced for various reasons. Hence the restriction on opening days,” added director Cywiński.
“Analysing attendance, we notice that far more people come to the Memorial precisely at the weekends. We wish to maintain this attendance to the fullest extent possible. By limiting the opening days, we will be able to plan our work so as to provide full service to visitors at all times,” said Andrzej Kacorzyk, director of the International Centrer for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
“We are, of course, treating the restriction on opening days as an exceptional and temporary solution. Once we see signs of a possible increase in attendance at the Memorial, we will revert to a full-week availability for visitors,” Andrzej Kacorzyk added.
The visiting regulations are adapted to the new sanitary requirements, as ensuring the safety of visitors and employees of the Memorial is one of the most important tasks of the Museum during the ongoing pandemic.
Entry to both parts of the former camp, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, takes place exclusively based on Entry Passes. Reservations for each type of tour can only be made online at visit.auschwitz.org. Unreserved entry passes will be available at the Museum on the day of the visit; however, we cannot guarantee entry to the Memorial without reservation.
Tours with an educator for individual visitors take place in smaller groups of up to 15 people. The number of people on the site will also be minimised. Visitors have to observe a safe interpersonal distance - both before entering the Museum and during the tour. The same regulations governing covering of the mouth and nose apply in the premises as in entire Poland (right now face must be covered outdoors and indoors). The temperature of people entering the Museum will also be measured. Several places on the Museum grounds have also been equipped with devices for contactless hand sanitation, and a special sanitation gate has been placed in front of the entrance.
A special tour route is prepared for visitors, which minimises the number of sites where Museum visitors will come into contact with each other. Visitors are required to move inside the buildings only along a one-way route. The larger space was created by removing all horizontal showcases from the exhibition, which facilitates keeping a safe distance during the tour.
To increase safety, the Museum guides cover their faces during the tour, and the audio receivers and headphones used during the tour meet all sanitary requirements. Visitors can also use their headphones, which must fit into the mini-jack port.
Outdoor exhibition boards have been installed in several locations at the Auschwitz I site through which visitors can learn about the history and see among others, the interiors temporarily excluded from the tour, such as the underground of block 11.