Record numbers visit Auschwitz in 2018

A record 2.15 million people visited Nazi Germany's Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 2018, the museum in southern Poland has reported.

Record numbers visit Auschwitz in 2018
Visitors in front of the gate in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Photo: DPA

The number of visitors last year was about 50,000 higher than the previous peak in 2017, the museum announced on Friday.

SEE ALSO: 'Hell on Earth was a German creation', says Foreign Minister on visit to Auschwitz

Some 405,000 Poles visited the site last year, followed by 281,000 Britons, 136,000 Americans, 116,000 Italians, 95,000 Spaniards, 76,000 Germans, 69,000 Frenchmen and 65,000 Israelis, among others.

The museum website got 27 million page views last year, while its Facebook page topped 265,000 likes. More than 275,000 people follow the museum on Twitter.

The site offers guided tours in 20 different languages. Up until 2001, less than half a million people visited the museum each year. In 2007, the number of visitors exceeded the million mark for the first time.

The death camp was set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II.

Some 1.1 million people, including a million Jews from across Europe, were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1940 to 1945.

The other victims were mostly non-Jewish Poles, gypsies and Soviet prisoners.

The museum on the outskirts of the small town of Oswiecim has existed since 1947. The site comprises the former Auschwitz main camp and the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp with a total of around 150 buildings and around 300 ruins. The entire camp complex has been on Unesco's World Heritage list since 1979.


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Germany closes case against deported ex-Nazi guard, 95

German prosecutors said Wednesday they have closed their case due to lack of evidence against a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard recently deported by the United States.

Germany closes case against deported ex-Nazi guard, 95
Graves for unidentified victims at the Neuengamme camp. Photo: DPA

Friedrich Karl Berger arrived in Frankfurt on February 20th, “possibly the last” such expulsion by Washington of a former Nazi, a US official had said then.

Prosecutors in the city of Celle, who had previously halted their probe of the man, had reopened investigations over suspicion of complicity in murders on his return, as Berger had said he was willing to be questioned.

But “after exhausting all evidence, prosecutors at Celle have once again closed the investigation because of a lack of sufficient suspicion,” they said in a statement.

Berger, who had retained German citizenship, was deported for taking part in “Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution” while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp system in 1945, the US Justice Department said.

He had been living in the US since 1959, and was stationed as a young man from January 28th, 1945 to April 4th, 1945, at a subcamp of Neuengamme, near Meppen, Germany.

German investigators had been examining whether during his time there, and in particular when “monitoring a march evacuating the sub-camp, he had contributed to the death of many detainees”.

More than 40,000 prisoners died in the Neuengamme system, records show.

Germany has been hunting down former Nazi staff since the 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk on the basis he served as part of the Nazi killing machine set a legal precedent.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Nazi hunters in final straight of race against time

Since then, courts have handed down several guilty verdicts on those grounds rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused.

Among those who were brought to late justice were Oskar Gröning, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, an SS guard at the same camp.

Both were convicted of complicity in mass murder at the age of 94 but died before they could be imprisoned.

In February, German prosecutors charged a 95-year-old who had been secretary at the Stutthof camp with complicity in the murders of 10,000 people, in the first such case in recent years against a woman.

Days later, a 100-year-old former guard at the Sachsenhausen camp, north of Berlin, was charged with complicity in 3,518 murders.