The Auschwitz Museum visited by a record number of people in 2017

Auschwitz Museum Jacek Bednarczyk

In 2017, 2.1 million people visited the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz, in southern Poland, the Auschwitz Museum reported on its website on Wednesday. This is 50,000 more than in 2016, when the number of visitors for the first time exceeded 2 milion.

At 498,000, Poles constituted the largest visitor group, followed by Britons (339,000), Americans (183,000), Italians (115,000), Spaniards (101,000), Germans (85,000), Israelis (83,000), French (74,000), Czechs (53,000) and Swedes (44,000).

The past year saw an especially marked rise in visitors from Ukraine (by 48 percent), Canada (by 36 percent) and Greece (by 32 percent), the Museum reported.  

Specialized educational projects constitute an important part of the Museum's activities. Last year, nearly 17,000 people took part in programmes organised by the International Centre for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust. 

Guided tours are offered in nearly 20 languages.

The Auschwitz concentration camp was opened in 1940, its second section Birkenau two years later. Auschwitz consisted of a main camp and 40 sub-units, where the Nazis killed over 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, Poles, Roma and Soviet POWs. 

The camp was liberated by the Soviets on January 27, 1945.

In 1947, the camp site was declared a national memorial site.