Auschwitz – how to visit?
Location of the camp
If we want to visit this place, let’s start here: where is Auschwitz? The Nazis established a concentration camp in Oswiecim, on the outskirts of the city. The town was named Auschwitz after its incorporation into the Reich, and this is where the camp’s nomenclature comes from. Auschwitz, on the other hand, is located in Malopolska province, not far from Krakow.
What is Auschwitz?
Auschwitz Concentration Camp is a complex of German Nazi camps, operating from 1940 to 1945 in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and surrounding towns. It served as a site for the extermination of Jews during World War II – known by many names, including “death factory.” It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under its original title: Auschwitz Birkenau.
The number of people who passed through the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps is estimated at 1.3 million, with about 80% (mostly Jews) never reaching the status of prisoners, as they were deprived of their lives within 20 minutes of arrival. Numerous pseudo-medical experiments were also carried out there during this period, causing not only death but other cruel practices.
The Auschwitz State Museum in Oswiecim, a memorial and cultural institution documenting German crimes against humanity committed during World War II, was established.
How to visit?
First of all, it is worth emphasizing that Auschwitz-Birkenau is a memorial site, and therefore cannot be treated as a simple tour. Things happened on its grounds that we can hardly imagine. Out of respect for those who suffered and died there, we must be as respectful as possible. You should also dress appropriately for the occasion.
It costs nothing to enter the Museum and Memorial. However, we will not enter its premises if we do not pre-book an admission card on their website. If we intend to visit the site in a group, we must purchase a guided tour and the rental of headphones. When we decide to tour privately, we can visit on our own, but it’s worth taking advantage of the site’s offer to take a guided tour to learn as much as possible. Such a tour can be time-sensitive, and it all depends on how you want to visit, but the minimum time you need to book is estimated at 3 and a half hours.
You need to be on site 30 minutes before the purchased tour, as a security check is conducted. No large bags or suitcases can be brought into Auschwitz.
Photography is allowed on site, but not in all places. It is advisable to read the tour regulations available on the museum’s website.
The tour can be mentally demanding, so keep this in mind when going to Auschwitz.