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The Schmooze

Pay To Enter: Concentration Camp Memorial Imposes Fee

It’s hardly as bad as a proposed mall across the street from Auschwitz, but some are still upset about the new fee being charged at Sachsenhausen, the former concentration camp near Berlin.

Earlier this month, officials at the camp began charging one euro for each member of organized tours of the site, where more than 200,000 people were imprisoned during the Nazi regime. The fees are not for profit, but will help to cover education costs and training for tour guides. Nevertheless, they mark the first time that a Holocaust-related site in Germany has charged visitors, stirring unease.

“A concentration camp memorial should not impose barriers on visitors,” the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Until now, Holocaust sites in Germany have been maintained and kept completely free for visitors by the government.

In defense of the fee, officials at the Sachsenhausen site note that it was approved by the board of the camp’s foundation, which includes survivors.

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