The state Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, like most museums in the world, suffered from the pandemic coronavirus. March 12 this year, the memorial on the site of three former Nazi concentration camps was closed to visitors. Trips to spend more was impossible, but they provided regular contributions to the budget of the complex. 328 guides conducting tours in 19 languages, lost earnings, says DW.
From July 1, the Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland resumes and re-opened to the public. Currently, there are standard safety rules: distancing, protective masks, one-way traffic at the site, the team going on a tour with a guide – no more than 15 people, pre-register visitors online. The entrance to the Museum is free of charge, so registration is not a ticket purchase and the way by distributing those wishing to come here to avoid too large gatherings of people at the same time.
Paid are only guided tours. According to the creators and staff of the Museum, the entrance fee would offend the memory of those killed and those elderly who were imprisoned in Auschwitz and still come here and speak to the youth, talking about those terrible times. But every visitor can make a voluntary contribution to the Fund of the Museum.
Many of the planned activities had to be postponed until better times. Funds now go on the maintenance of buildings and grounds in proper condition: 155 buildings, 300 ruins, 170 hectares, a huge archive and research centre, international educational centre and library.
Museums around the world have switched to online visit. However, virtual tours and discussion with the audience will never replace experiences, get live. Therefore, digital technology, even the most advanced, is not an option for such a place, as a former concentration camp, I’m sure Christophe Heubner (Christoph Heubner), Vice-President of the International Committee of Auschwitz: “This memorial, like all museums, created on the spot, will continue to perform a very important task”.
The state Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau was established in 1947 on the territory of the former camps Auschwitz 1, Auschwitz 2, and Auschwitz 3 by decision of the Polish Parliament. It was initiated by former prisoners. In 2019, the German government has decided to donate 60 million euros to the Fund of the memorial of Auschwitz-Birkenau – in addition to those funds, which Germany had previously allocated for the maintenance of the Museum complex.