About Auschwitz, Poland

Auschwitz Poland, the notorious complex of more than 40 concentration and death camps where more than 1.3 million people were genocide during World War II, brings to life its horrifying past. You can explore the camp's many remaining structures, including the barracks and the gas chambers, which serve as a sombre reminder of one of the darkest moments in human history by booking Wieliczka Salt Mine tours.

Situated close to the Oświęcim industrial town, the Auschwitz Poland camp comprises three camps in one - a prisoner camp, a slave-labour camp, and an extermination camp. It originally served as a detention centre for Poles detained following Germany's occupation of Poland in 1939. But after the sanction of Holocaust (Hitler's Final Solution), these camps also employed slave labour and were used as extermination camps for those deemed unfit for work.

The Auschwitz concentration camps were divided into three camps in November 1943: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz & Subcamps—due to management challenges brought on by the expanding complex. Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and death camps are accessible to the public as the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. The only death camp on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Auschwitz in Poland provides insight into the sufferings of millions of people, mostly Jews.

History of Auschwitz

Auschwitz Poland was set by Germans in 1940 on the borders of Oswiecim, a Nazi-controlled Polish city since mass arrests of Poles surpassed the capacity of local prisons. Originally intended to be another Nazi concentration camp, it ended up being one of the largest extermination camps after the section of Hitler's final solution to the Jewish question.

The oldest of these camps, Auschwitz I was built in the buildings and on the grounds of Polish barracks in 1940 before World War II. The Birkenau camp (Auschwitz II) was the second and largest of the complex. It was built in 1941 in the village of Brzezinka, three km from Oswiecim, and the majority of the victims were exterminated here.

More than 40 sub-camps that employed prisoners as slave labourers were established between 1942 and 1944. The largest of them was Monowitz or Auschwitz III, located six km away from the Auschwitz camp, held 10,000 people. All Auschwitz concentration camps and sub-camps were walled by the Germans with barbed wire fencing, cutting them off from the outside world.

Auschwitz Concentration Camps

Auschwitz Poland was a Nazi complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps during World War II and the Holocaust. It includes Auschwitz I, the main camp; Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a concentration and extermination camp with gas chambers; Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a slave labour camp; and dozens of subcamps. These concentration camps were key locations of the Nazis' final solution to the Jewish question.

Auschwitz I

Auschwitz I was opened in April 1940 as a quarantine facility for Polish prisoners and later became the Auschwitz Poland complex's primary camp and administrative headquarters. The first 30 Polish captives arrived here on May 20, 1940, while the first group of Polish political prisoners arrived on June 14, 1940. Following the implementation of Hitler's final solution, it became an extermination site, complete with a gas chamber, crematorium, bathhouse, laundry, and Barrack 10. These structures are still on display at the Auschwitz Museum, whereas the original prisoner reception area of Auschwitz I has been changed into the museum's visitor reception centre.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau

Auschwitz II-Birkenau, whose construction began in October 1941, was located three kilometres from Auschwitz I in Brzezinka. It was opened in March 1942 and used as the facility for the extermination of Jews. It was the largest camp in the Auschwitz Poland complex and was divided into ten divisions with electrified barbed-wire fences separating them. It also comprises four crematoriums, numerous gas chambers and body cellars. There were about 40 smaller subcamps that housed slave labourers. Approximately 90% of the victims of the Auschwitz concentration camps died in Birkenau, 90% of them were Jews.

Auschwitz III-Monowitz

Known as the KL Auschwitz III subcamp or the Monowitz concentration camp, it was the first concentration camp in Poland financed and erected by private industry. Opened in 1942, it received its first group of convicts on October 30, 1942, and was the largest of Auschwitz's subcamps. Monowitz began as a barrack camp for slave workers working at IG Farben and other companies but quickly evolved into the headquarter of the industrial sub-camps. Despite better conditions than other Auschwitz concentration camps, arduous labour took its toll on the captives, who died in the sub-camp hospital or were murdered on the spot. Visitors' entry is not permitted to the Monowitz and other subcamps.

Know Before You Visit Auschwitz

Essential Information
How To Reach

Location: Ofiar Faszyzmu 12, 32-600 Brzezinka, PolandTimings:

December: 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM

January and November: 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

February: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

March and October: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

April, May, and September: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

June, July, and August: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Closure: January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday

Best Time To Visit:

The best time to visit Auschwitz concentration camps is during April and September for the most pleasant weather and shoulder seasons in terms of tourism. Additionally, planning your visit during the weekday mornings is an excellent way to avoid the weekend crowds.

By Train: Take a train from Krakow to Oswiecim, which lies 2 km from Auschwitz in Poland. There are local buses from the train station to Auschwitz I.

By Bus: Four bus companies run between Auschwitz I camp and Krakow.

By Car: You can also reach concentration camps by car from Krakow, which is about 60 km from Auschwitz I. Free parking is available at Stanisawy Leszczyskiej street.

By Air: There are two international airports Kraków-Balice and Katowice-Pyrzowice within about 50 km of Oświęcim.

Guided Tours: Book a guided tour from Krakow to Auschwitz Poland that includes transfers and lasts between 7 and 11 hours, depending on the package.

Auschwitz Tour FAQs

What is special about Auschwitz?

The most notorious of all the Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz Poland is still remembered as a symbol of the Holocaust and World War II, where over 1.3 million inmates died or were murdered. It is also the only concentration camp designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Also Checkout: Krakow Saltworks Museum

What is the best time to visit Auschwitz?

The best time to visit Auschwitz in Poland is in the mornings on weekdays to escape the weekend crowd. The months of April and September provide the finest weather for outdoor excursions as well as the shoulder tourism season, making them ideal for your trip.

How many concentration camps are there in Auschwitz?

Auschwitz Poland was a complex of over 40 concentration and death camps managed by Nazi Germany during World War II and the Holocaust. It consisted of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, Auschwitz III-Monowitz, and several subcamps.

Where did the word Auschwitz come from?

The first Nazi concentration camp was erected near the Polish city of Oswiecim. In German, Oswiecim is known as Auschwitz, giving the camp the same name.

Who invented the concentration camp in Auschwitz?

The Schutzstaffel (SS), German Nazis, turned an army barrack into a prisoner-of-war camp when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and later transformed it into the Auschwitz Concentration Camp as part of Hilter's Final Solution policy for the extermination of Jews.

Which attractions are included in the tour?

In the tour you are going to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, Wieliczka Salt Mine, St. Kinga's Chapel, Schindler's Factory and many more

The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners.

© 2024 All rights reserved.