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Record 1.4m visit Auschwitz site in 2011

A RECORD 1.4 million people visited the memorial site at the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2011.

The figure released today underlines how the death and labour complex that Nazi Germany built in occupied southern Poland during the Second World War has become one of Europe's most visited Holocaust remembrance sites.

While the large number of visitors is seen as important for Holocaust education, mass tourism there is also adding strain to the barracks and other structures.

Many are already in very poor condition and the officials overseeing the site are struggling to preserve what they can.

The museum and memorial site said most of the visitors last year were from Poland, but other nations represented in large numbers are Britain, Italy, Israel, Germany, France and the United States.