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Jan 4, 2013 12:09 PM by Joe Bevans

Holocaust site swarmed with visitors

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site in southern Poland says it registered 1.43 million visitors last year, a record number in its 65-year history as a place of Holocaust remembrance. For several years now, the grounds of the former Nazi death camp have registered record numbers of visitors. In 2011, there were 1.4 million visitors from across the world, triple the number of a decade before. The new figure was released Friday. The growing tourism is considered important in Holocaust education, but it is straining the site's barracks and other structures, many of which were built of wood and never intended to last so long. Preservation efforts are underway. Nazi Germany murdered at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz-Birkenau, mostly Jews, but also Polish political prisoners, Gypsies, homosexuals and others.

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