Mauthausen Memorial records a rise in visitor numbers

20.02.2020

A total of 288,670 visitors came to the Mauthausen and Gusen Memorials in 2019. This represents an increase of around 15,000 on the previous year.

Mauthausen Memorial records a rise in visitor numbers
(Photocredit: KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen)

Interest in the memorial sites at Mauthausen and Gusen remains strong, as shown by the steady rise in visitor numbers year on year. Adding together visitor numbers for Mauthausen and Gusen, a total of 288,670 people came to the two memorial sites in 2019. In comparison, there were 273,935 recorded visitors in 2018.

4,246 groups (3,955 in 2018) took advantage of one of the many educational programmes. As well as an international site of commemoration, the Mauthausen Memorial sees itself above all as a place for historical and political education. Special focus is therefore placed on school pupils from Austria and abroad. In total, it supervised visits from over 70,000 pupils last year. Around 80 educators accompanied the school groups as they engaged critically with the former sites of National Socialist crimes. Of the 56,282 Austrian pupils, the largest group came from Upper Austria (13,915), followed by Vienna (13,108) and Lower Austria (9,948).

“We view the growing visitor numbers and interest in our work as appreciation and responsibility in equal measure”, says Dr Barbara Glück, Director of the Mauthausen Memorial. She finds that many people are eager for historical information based on facts, not just half truths and hyped-up headlines, and they value the wide rage of educational programmes at the memorial sites. “A core element of our educational concept is the question of the relevance to today of what happened here in this once so dark place, the relevance to the realities of our visitors’ everyday lives”, continued Glück.

Background information on the former Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps: Between 1938 and 1945 around 190,000 people from over 40 countries were imprisoned in the Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps or one of their subcamps. At least 90,000 people were murdered. The Mauthausen Memorial was established in 1949 and is now an international site of commemoration and historical and political education. On 1 January 2017 the Mauthausen Memorial became a federal institution under public law.