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Auschwitz-Birkenau Krakow Tour (from 36€)

Going on a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau, you will visit the former concentration and extermination camp built by Nazi Germany. The camp was established in 1940 in Oświęcim (German: Auschwitz), in former Polish Army barracks. The camp is the symbol of Holocaust and terrible suffering of innocent people.

The name Auschwitz-Birkenau in German means the names of three towns, Oświęcim (Auschwitz), Brzezinka (Birkenau) and Monowice (Monowitz). The area of the camp included:
  • Auschwitz I- the first camp, called the parent camp. It was mainly a forced-labour camp and an administrative centre for the whole complex.
  • Auschwitz II- Birkenau- in the beginning it was a concentration camp, later became the place of extermination, where gas chambers and crematoria were located.
  • Auschwitz III- Monowitz- a forced-labour camp at the Buna Werke, the industrial complex of I.G. Farben.


After the liberation of prisoners in 1945 and the termination of hostilities in 1947, a memorial and museum was established on the former camp lands. The museum was built to remind of the brutality of Nazis and to prevent similar practice. Nowadays tourists can visit two parts of the camp, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau.

On a tour of Auschwitz you can see a permanent exhibition, which consists of visiting the camp’s grounds and original or partially reconstructed barracks. Apart from that, you’ll see plenty of documentary photographs, photocopies of documents, models and sculptures. In block 11, you can visit Saint Maximilian Kolbe's prison cell. The exhibition holds also original prisoner garments, bunks and other furnishings from prisoner rooms. One of the exhibits which draw attention are the suitcases of deported Jews packed with their possessions, and postcards, signed but never sent to families.

At the museum there are more personal exhibits of dead prisoners which could be listed. The exhibition is located in blocks 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11.

Auschwitz tours consist of visiting also the second camp of the network, Auschwitz II- Birkenau. It was the place of extermination, the biggest Nazi German death camp. In Birkenau died the biggest number of Auschwitz prisoners, more than 1 million. It was the place were especially designed gas chambers with crematoria were planned and constructed. In the beginning they were located in makeshift cottages and later in especially designed buildings.

The area of Birkenau covered 140 hectares and was divided into a couple of bigger parts:
  • The women’s camp, opened in 1942. In the beginning it was the first part of the camp where about a 1000 of Soviet prisoners of war from Auschwitz were located. Later it was the men’s part of the camp and finally the women’s part.
  • A registration and quarantine camp for men prisoners, opened in August 1943.
  • A family camp for Jews from Theresienstadt, opened in September 1943.
  • The men’s camp, ready in July 1942.
  • The Gypsy camp- the first part was opened in February 1943 for Gypsy families (Zigeunerlager). It was liquidated in August 1944.
  • Kanada, opened in December 1943. It was the name of barracks next to Crematorium IV, which served as a warehouse complex where baggage confiscated from victims was stored. Behind Kanada there was a building called the New Sauna, where new prisoners were brought.
  • Meksyk- the transit camp for Jewish women from Hungary, opened in 1944. There was no light, water and sewage system.
  • The Red and the White House (Bunkier II)- brick cottages of displaced Brzezinka residents, converted into gassing facilities.
  • Crematoria II, III, IV and V- a complex of gas chambers and crematoria used to burn the corpses.
  • A complex of sewage treatment, the SS buildings, huge cargo sheds to store potatoes and many other buildings.
 

Apart from the permanent exhibition, visitors can also see displays known as the national exhibitions, which show the diversity of prisoners’ nationalities. They are supposed to present that the prisoners were not only Jews, but also Poles, Croats, Gypsies, Bulgarians and many others. It’s worth mentioning that the first prisoners of Auschwitz Krakow were Poles from prisons in Tarnów and Nowy Sącz.  

Nowadays, historians estimate that at least 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, among others:
  • 1 million of Jews,
  • about 150,000 of Poles,
  • 23,000 of Romanis
  • More than 30,000 of others of diverse nationalities.
 

The Auschwitz-Birkenau tour is a good lesson of history and lets us get to know the world of the camp’s prisoners. The tour will stay in your memory for a long time. Going under the gate with the sign Arbeit macht frei (English: work makes you free) shows the brutality of Nazi Germans. Despite the fact that the Auschwitz-Birkenau tour is not very pleasing and provides many shocking information, it should be the obligatory place to see for Polish tourists on account of the memory of the camp’s victims and to protect people from similar practice.  

The most important points on Auschwitz-Birkenau tour are:
  • Crematoria
  • Death Wall
  • Block 11
  • Displays of human hair, artificial limbs, shoes, etc.
  • Displays of photographs and documents
  • Stories of everyday life in the camp told by professional guides
  • Stories of escape attempts and methods of punishment
  • Awareness that we can leave the camp alive
 

The museum is open for tourists almost all year long, with a few exceptions. To visit its two parts, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau, you should set aside about 90 minutes for each part. During the visit, a documental film shot by German torturers is shown. The film shows the brutality and cruelty to prisoners and the scrupulosity of Germans because if they hadn’t recorded and photographed their genocide, the world would never have learnt about it. The museum holds a lot of interesting exhibits which are worth to see with concentration, that’s why it’s good to reserve the whole day for the Auschwitz tour.



Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour Overall rating: 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews.

Awesome tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau

★★★★★
5 5 1
Thank you for many interesting informations. Tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau was an unforgettable experience.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour

★★★★★
5 5 1
Worth to see historical place. Professional guide told us many interesting facts and stories.

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Adres:

Oświęcim
Auschwitz-Birkenau, Polska

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