Two British tour companies are offering extraordinary stag night packages to Poland, which include a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp along with pub crawls and stripper bars, the UK paper the Sunday Times reported Sunday.
The two companies, Last Night of Freedom and Chillisauce, also offer paintball games, rafting, and range shooting. Auschwitz is just 45 minutes' drive from Krakow.
According to the Sunday Times, Paul Luke, content manager at Last Night of Freedom, told a journalist posing as a customer: “It is bizarre when you drop a visit to the most depressing place on Earth into a massively fun weekend," but added, "People have told us they have had the best night out ever after they have been there."
Luke admits that some people recoil from the juxtaposition of celebration with the Holocaust, but claims it is "something that is very moving and extremely sobering." He added, "Then again, it does fuel a fabulous night out.”
Strippers, beer and Auschwitz? (Photo: AFP)
The UK paper quoted David Stacey, a satisfied client. “A lady called Kate was our tour guide and she was excellent," Stacey said. "She came out with us on the first and second night and organized white-water rafting and a trip to Auschwitz, which were both very good for different reasons.”
The Chillisauce website invites potential clients with the words, “Why not take a break from your stag weekend mayhem and immerse yourself in a little world-defining history before the 20-odd pints later in the evening.”
The Sunday Times also quoted Karen Pollock, who heads the Holocaust Educational Trust. “Over one million people were systematically murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau," she said. "It seems entirely inappropriate to advertise a visit to the site for stag groups in this way, alongside nights of drinking and clubbing.”
However, Chillisauce Managing Director James Baddiley had a different view. “We have had no complaints," he said according to the Sunday Times article. "We get a lot of customers who think if they are in Krakow they would like to go along to Auschwitz to pay their respects. Obviously, they don’t go along dressed up as if they are on a stag do.”