The Museum on the grounds of Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration and extermination camps in 2018 recorded 2.152 million visitors from all over the world, which were about 50,000 more than in record-breaking 2017, with more than 320 museum docents guiding tours in 20 languages, according to a museum press release issued by the museum on Friday.
However, the number of visitors from three countries dropped significantly in 2018: China, by 23%, Israel, by 21%, and Poland, 19%.
The top ten visiting countries included Poland (405,000), Great Britain (281,000), USA (136,000), Italy (116,000), Spain (95,000), Germany (76,000), France (69,000), Israel (65,000), the Czech Republic (45,000) and Sweden (42,000). The number of visitors from Portugal increased significantly (by 36%).
Numerous groups of organized youth explored the camps’ history as part of study visits in 2018. They include not only a guided tour at the Memorial in many specialized forms, but also educational activities, lectures and workshops organized by the museum’s International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. More than 80% of participants in these study visits have been from outside Poland.
“It is the most valuable educational form, which does not only provide more in-depth knowledge and understanding but also allows visitors to engage in a dialogue and ask questions about selected aspects of this tragic history,” said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz Museum. “No automation, no printed form or electronic equipment can substitute this human interaction during the visit, which is difficult, both in terms of the amount of factual information and emotions.”