Conference considers tourism and the Holocaust

10 January 2017

Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photo by AdamTasImages

Auschwitz-Birkenau. Photo by AdamTasImages

The Holocaust and Nazi architecture will form the central focus of an international dark tourism conference at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) this summer.

Tourism researchers, historians and museum staff will gather in Glasgow in June 2017 to consider how Holocaust memorial sites strike a balance between tourism, remembrance and education.

Dark tourism is a term coined by GCU Professor John Lennon, describing tourism and travel sites historically associated with tragedy.

Sites connected to the Holocaust continue to prove hugely popular with tourists, with the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau attracting more than one million tourists each year.

The four-day conference will reflect on the tourist experience and address the challenges facing museum curators and professionals.

It will compare different approaches being taken and cover topics such as conservation of Nazi architecture and best practice in education and learning.

It is organised by GCU in partnership with the Centre for Holocaust Studies at the Institute of Contemporary History in Germany and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at GCU, said: “The conference brings together international academics, museum curators, historians and researchers in the field to explore issues in our shared and troubled history. We hope to learn from best practice in the sector and inform future interpretation of such dark sites.”

Dark Tourism Sites related to the Holocaust, the Nazi Past and World War II: Visitation and Practice runs from Wednesday, June 28 to Saturday, July 1 2017. Contact Professor Lennon for more details.