The Dziekanka Hospital in Gniezno as a Destination of Thanatourism. A Case of Unrealized Potential

Tourism of this kind refers explicitly to issues of death, and thus it is always tied to strategies for commemorating the dead. Therefore, it requires the engagement: if not of tourists themselves, then of the destinations and the institutions that maintain them. Victims of mass killings have a special status among the deceased. Among these victims, patients of psychiatric hospitals killed by the Nazis in Germany and its occupied territories deserve much attention. This article seeks to foreground the potential of these psychiatric hospitals as destinations for thanatourism. It takes then a detailed look at the tragic history of the Dziekanka Regional Hospital for the Mentally Ill, located in Gniezno, and evaluates it as a site with great potential for Gniezno and the surrounding region.