Allen S. Maller

Many more visit Auschwitz except for….?

More than 2 million people, most of them non-Jews, from all over the world visited the Auschwitz Museum in 2016.

The 2,053,000 visitors is a record number (16% more than 2015) in the history of the Museum, which in 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of its creation.

The top ten countries from which visitors came according to its web site were: Poland, with 424,00; the United Kingdom, with 271,000; the United States, with 215,000; Italy, with 146,000; Spain, with 115,000; Israel, with 97,000; Germany, with 92,000; France, with 82,000; the Czech Republic, with 60,000; and Sweden, with 41,000.

This compares to over 1.7 million people who visited the site of the former Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz in 2015. In addition to 425,000 Polish visitors, foreigners from over 100 countries came to Auschwitz in 2015.

The British top the list of foreigners, with 220,000 visitors (199,000 in 2014), followed by Americans (141,000; 50,000 more than 2014), Germans (93,000), Italians (76,000), Spaniards (68,000), the Israelis (61,000), and French (57,000).

All national groups increased greatly in 2016 compared to 2015 except for Germans and Poles.

In addition, some 150 movie crews produced documentaries at the museum and memorial in 2016.

“In today’s world, torn by conflicts, increased feeling of insecurity and strengthening of populist tones in public discourse, it is necessary to re-listen to the darkest warnings from the past,” said Piotr Cywinski, director of the museum, in a statement announcing the museum census for 2016.

As Torah Teaches us: “Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey out of Egypt, how they surprised you on the road and cut off all the weak people at your rear, when you were parched and weary, and they did not fear God. Deuteronomy 25:17

As we all know, those who do not learn anything from history, both Jews and non-Jews, are doomed to repeat it.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 850 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
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