31 May 2007

Death camps may charge admission

According to a YNet story, some of the Nazi death camps - now museums - could soon charge admission to help fund education projects.

The Times(UK) reported that the Central Board of Jews in Germany spokesmen said "These are graveyards; you do not pay to mourn the dead."

Dachau is among those considering the fee, and the president of the International Dachau Committee sys that without the fees, it cannot educate the young about the Holocaust. Some 800,000 people visit Dachau annually, but the museum has only one full-time education assistant.

At Buchenwald and Ravensbruck, officials are also warning of funding shortages.

Many museum directors are arguing that there is no point in preserving Holocaust sites if there is no staff to explain the site's relevance.

The supervisor of Sachsenhausen, Ravensbruck and Brandenburg says that 30-50 percent of requests for tours and education programs are turned down.

Although the former camps are funded by federal and regional governments in Germany, the funds, say directors, barely cover operating costs, with none left over for exhibits, seminars or more than minimal publications.

While Auschwitz, in Poland, receives subsidies and funds from philanthropists, the German sites do not attract private sponsorship.

Said one commenter on YNetNews.com in response to the article, "At least this time they won't take all your possessions when you go there - only a small fee."

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