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Record 1.43 million visit Auschwitz in 2012

(JTA) — The Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp memorial and museum attracted a record number of visitors in 2012.

There were 1.43 million visitors to the grounds of the former Nazi camp last year — the most in the museum’s 65-year history, the museum said on its website.

More than 1 million people have visited the memorial and museum annually for each of the last six years.

"Auschwitz in the last decade became a clearly fundamental memorial of the whole Europe,” said Dr. Piotr Cywinski, the museum’s director. “It reflects the actual meaning of the history of the Shoah and the drama of concentration camps in the history of contemporary Europe and understanding its appearance today. The growing educational dimension of this place indirectly shows us also the challenges that our societies face today."

Poland had the most visitors with 446,000, followed by Great Britain (149,000 visitors), the United States (97,000), Italy (84,000), Germany (74,000) and Israel (68,000).

Some 300 museum educators guide tours in 20 languages.

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