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Death camp visit makes young 'denial-proof'

By Jemma Crew

Visits to Auschwitz are an important education for young people against an increasing level of Holocaust denial statements online, it has been claimed.

More than two million people went to Poland to visit the site of the former Nazi death camp in 2016 - a record for the memorial which will mark the 70th anniversary of its opening this year.

Museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki has warned of the dangers of claims made by Holocaust deniers online on the minds of young people.

He said, however, that a visit to the Auschwitz memorial can make them "denial-proof".

"After facing the authentic side, it's much more difficult for anyone to reach a young person who visits and says 'the Holocaust is a hoax, no gas chambers existed'. And they have this personal experience that will protect them," he commented.

Mr Sawicki said that in a world where "information is everywhere", the museum was recognising that online education was increasingly important, and that it must pay equal attention to those who visit the memorial and those who cannot.

Part of this education, he said, involves publicly calling out anti-Semitism, inaccuracies and insensitivity on websites.

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