More than 72 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the first traveling exhibition about the Nazi death camp will begin a journey later this year to 14 cities across Europe and North America, taking heartbreaking artifacts to multitudes who have never seen such horror up close.
The endeavor is one of the most high-profile attempts to educate and immerse young people for whom the Holocaust is a fading and ill-understood slice of history. The Anne Frank House, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and others all find themselves grappling with ways to engage an attention-challenged world with a dark part of its past.
Yet anything that smacks of putting Auschwitz on tour instantly raises sensitivities. Organizers of the exhibition, which include the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum itself, took pains to explain that, yes, visitors would probably be charged to enter in at least some locations. But officials at that museum and the company behind the exhibition say that their intent is not to create a moneymaker out of the suffering of millions of Nazi victims.