This is an obligatory destination for every citizen of the world: the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum – which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List – makes an unforgettable impression on every visitor. Every year, millions of visitors walk through the gate with the cynic motto “Arbeit macht frei”. Only here you can imagine the scope of the Holocaust.
The camp was started by Nazis as a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners. In 1942 it became a focal point for the extermination of Jews. During a 5 year period, the Nazis killed 1,5 million people: Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Russians, and many other. The visit begins with a 15-minute documentary movie about the history of the camp. Then, the guide will lead you through Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, showing the surviving prison blocks, the gas chamber and the crematorium.
The second part of your visit will cover the Auschwitz II Birkenau camp, where you can ascend the watchtower above the entrance gate to catch a view over the whole area of both concentration camps. Today, most of the buildings house collections of original documents, as well as personal effects – or their remains – which are all that we have to remember the prisoners by.