Over 100,000 people visit Auschwitz exhibition in New York

Over 100,000 people visit Auschwitz exhibition in New York JUSTIN LANE/PAP/EPA

Almost 106,000 people have so far visited the touring exhibition on the history and significance of the former Nazi-German Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland, the exhibition in New York opened in May 2019, the Auschwitz Museum said.

The exhibition "Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away." portrays the development of the Polish town of Oswiecim where during the Nazi-German occupation, the Nazis created the largest concentration camp and extermination site, where nearly 1 million Jews and tens of thousands of Poles were murdered, as well as other nationalities including Sinti, Roma, Soviet POWs and others.

Featuring more than 700 original objects, the exhibition includes hundreds of personal items such as suitcases, eyeglasses and shoes that had belonged to the victims. Other artefacts include concrete posts that were part of the fence of the Auschwitz camp and an original German-made freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland.

The exhibition was launched as a joint project between the Auschwitz Museum and the Spanish company Musealia. The exhibition travelled to the US after being shown in Madrid, where attendance figures reached over 600,000. The New York showing was to end in January, but due to the high number of visitors, the exhibition has been extended until August 2020.

The Nazis established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site of the mass extermination of Jews. The complex also contained a network of sub-camps. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

The camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. In 1947, the camp site was declared a national memorial site.