Horrific Death Camp Draws Record Tourism

Auschwitz-Birkenau has 1.43M visitors in 2012

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 5, 2013 5:08 PM CST

(Newser) – Perhaps the most tragic site in modern European history is drawing record tourist traffic, AFP reports. The Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in southern Poland—where some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed by Nazis during World War II—saw 1.43 million visitors in 2012. "Over the last decade, Auschwitz has become a central site of Shoah remembrance for all of Europe, reflecting the importance of the history of the Holocaust," said museum director Piotr Cywinski. "Its educational dimension underscores the challenges which our societies still face."

More than half a million of the visitors were Polish, followed by 150,000 Brits, 100,000 Americans, 85,000 Italians, and 75,000 Germans. About 68,000 were from Israel. Most were students.

In this May 1944 photo, Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection on the selection platform at the Auschwitz camp.
In this May 1944 photo, Jewish women and children deported from Hungary, separated from the men, line up for selection on the selection platform at the Auschwitz camp.   (AP Photo/Yad Vashem Photo Archives)
Prince Albert of Monaco, center,  and Princess Charlene walk into Auschwitz accompanied by the memorial's  director Piotr Cywinski, front left, in Oswiecim, Poland, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.
Prince Albert of Monaco, center, and Princess Charlene walk into Auschwitz accompanied by the memorial's director Piotr Cywinski, front left, in Oswiecim, Poland, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
This January 1941 file photo shows entry to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, with snow-covered railtracks leading to the camp.
This January 1941 file photo shows entry to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, with snow-covered railtracks leading to the camp.   (AP Photo/File)
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