Places to visit in Auschwitz

Auschwitz camp has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Shoah for the world. It was established by the Germans in mid-1940 on the outskirts of Auschwitz, which was incorporated by the Nazis into the Third Reich. The immediate reason for the creation of the camp was the growing number of Poles arrested en masse and the overcrowding of existing prisons. Initially, it was to be another of the concentration camps. Auschwitz fulfilled this function throughout its existence, including when – starting in 1942. – it simultaneously became one of the centers of the “Endlösung der Judenfrage” (final solution of the Jewish question) – the Nazi plan to murder the Jews living in the Third Reich-occupied territories.

Auschwitz camp has become a symbol of terror, genocide and the Shoah for the world. It was established by the Germans in mid-1940 on the outskirts of Auschwitz, which was incorporated by the Nazis into the Third Reich. The immediate reason for the creation of the camp was the growing number of Poles arrested en masse and the overcrowding of existing prisons. Initially, it was to be another of the concentration camps. Auschwitz fulfilled this function throughout its existence, including when – starting in 1942. – it simultaneously became one of the centers of the “Endlösung der Judenfrage” (final solution of the Jewish question) – the Nazi plan to murder the Jews living in the Third Reich-occupied territories. In 1944, at the height of operations, the camp consisted of:

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Auschwitz I, established in 1940 on the grounds and buildings of the pre-war Polish barracks;
Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the largest of the complex, established in 1941 on the site of the village of Brzezinka, 3 km from Auschwitz, from which the Polish population was displaced and the houses taken from them demolished. The Nazis also built most of the mass extermination facilities at Birkenau. The Museum, established in 1947, takes care of the post-camp relics.

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During the tour we can learn about the living conditions of prisoners, nationality groups, categories and designations of prisoners, number of victims, situation of children in the camp, medical experiments, punishments and executions, as well as evacuation and liberation from the camp.

Next, we can visit Krakow where there is the Exhibition “Krakow – Time of Occupation 1939-1945” in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory at 4 Lipowa Street.

The exhibition is a story about Krakow and the fate of its Polish and Jewish inhabitants during World War II. The great history of World War II intersects here with everyday life, private life – with a tragedy that affected the whole world. Oskar Schindler saved more than a thousand people. His figure and the stories of the Krakow Jews he saved are presented in the exhibition as part of the city’s complicated wartime history. Oskar Schindler’s heroic deed is recalled in his office, happily preserved in the factory’s administrative building, which contains a symbolic “ark of survivors” created from thousands of pots resembling those produced by his workers during the war.

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The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is a shocking place that witnessed unimaginable human suffering and pain. It was established on the territory of occupied Poland in mid-1940, initially intended for Polish political prisoners. In 1942 it was transformed into the main camp for the extermination of Jews in occupied Poland. In January 1945, the camp was liquidated, claiming an unimaginable number of lives. More than one million women, men and children (including more than one million Jews, nearly 100,000 Poles and many representatives of other nations) were murdered in this largest German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum is one of the world’s most important sites commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust. It is also a place where the fate and suffering of many nations affected by World War II are intertwined. A trip to Auschwitz from Krakow is a great experience to see the evidence of what hatred leads to.

A trip to Auschwitz from Krakow includes:
– pickup from the hotel/hostel
– transportation by air-conditioned car
– service of a licensed guide at the Museum
– return to hotel/hostel

The Auschwitz tour includes a visit to the Museum section, which contains, among other things, photographs taken of prisoners and numerous items taken from them during their admission to the camp. These include ordinary items such as shoes, suitcases and toys, as prisoners were not allowed to carry anything of their own. Newly arrived prisoners were given their number, which was tattooed on their arm, and striped clothing, identical to their fellow prisoners.

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During the tour of the camp, you can see photos of the prisoners, learn about their daily life in the camp and learn about the experiments the Nazis performed on the prisoners. Seeing all the elements of the exhibition and the camp buildings is an experience that remains in the memory for a long time. It’s a place that makes a huge impression on visitors and shows what scale the Holocaust was on.

After visiting the first part of the camp, we will head to Auschwitz II – Birkenau, or Birkenau Birkenau. It is there that you will be able to see the most horrible places of the camp – the wooden barracks where the prisoners lived, but above all the gas chambers and crematoria. It was there that millions of people of various nationalities, above all Jews, perished, and the scale of extermination still inspires horror today. Also preserved on the grounds of the Birkenau camp are the railroad tracks along which successive prisoners doomed to extermination were brought in cattle cars. The fate of most incoming Jews was a foregone conclusion.

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