KL Auschwitz-Birkenau (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau) was the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, which was built in the outskirts of Oświęcim (annexed as Auschwitz to the Third Reich). Initially only Poles were imprisoned in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, but in the course of time, representatives of other nations, mainly the Jewish population, also began to be brought there. Inmates were subjected to mental and physical torture and pseudo-medical experiments and forced to work beyond strength. Those who were unable to work or tried to oppose the Nazi authorities were condemned to death. During a few years of the existence of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, more than 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives on its premises. The memory of victims of this biggest crime in the history of humanity survived as a result of having secured the former camp premises, where a museum was created, and thanks to the shocking accounts of those who survived the imprisonment period. One of the victims of the war tragedy was Marian Kołodziej – a former prisoner of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, who was brought to Oświęcim in 1940. The exhibition of his unusual sketches documenting the conditions of life in the camp is one of the most stirring testimonies to the atrocities committed by German Nazis during World War II.
1. This is a regular tour (group sightseeing).
2. Tour duration: 8 hours.
3. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum allows you to bring a hand luggage item with maximum dimensions of 30 ˣ 20 ˣ 10 centimetres (11.8 ˣ 7.8 ˣ 3.9 inches). In case of larger luggage, please contact us before the tour.
4. Due to the nature of the tour (visiting the site of a former extermination camp), the participants are requested to respect the memory of the dead by dressing and behaving appropriately.
5. The guide is not provided during the visit inside the Museum.
6. Auschwitz-Birkenau is an open-air museum, where the weather can change rapidly. Therefore, the participants are required to bring warm, waterproof clothing (e.g. sweaters, jackets, umbrellas) and sun-protective items (e.g. hats, caps, sunglasses).
7. The participants will be walking on a ground which becomes muddy in case it rains. Therefore, they should wear comfortable, waterproof shoes.
8. Only pay toilets are available around the museum.
9. It is not recommended that children under 14 visit the Museum and the exhibition.
1. Students ticket (13-25 years) with a valid student ID card.
2. Child ticket (5-12 years) and infant ticket (0-4 years) with a document confirming age.
3. Infant/Child tickets are available only to families travelling with children.
4. Prices of discount tickets are offered only to individual tourists, not to groups.
The KL Auschwitz-Birkenau complex consisted of 3 main parts: the original camp (Auschwitz I), Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and Monowitz (Auschwitz III) and a few dozen sub-camps. Among them, the biggest area was occupied by Auschwitz II-Birkenau, where the mass extermination of prisoners took place by means of specially built devices – gas chambers. Today this area is part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. The nearly 200 hectares of grounds include, among others, the remains of mass extermination devices, primitive prisoner barracks, and kilometres of the barbed wire camp fence. The visitors will hear a short lecture about the camp, then they will receive a map of the site and will sightsee the Auschwitz II-Birkenau premises on their own, adapting the pace of the tour to their own needs. The tour of the former camp premises will be preceded by another integral part of “Pictures from Auschwitz” – a visit to the Saint Maximilian Centre in Harmęże situated on the former premises of the Harmense sub-camp. Here you can see a unique exhibition of works by Marian Kołodziej – a former prisoner of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau marked with number 432, who managed to survive the imprisonment period. After the war, he graduated from the Department of Stage Design of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts and engaged in artistic activity; however, his works were devoid of references to his memories of life in the camp for nearly 50 years. Only after the artist became seriously ill, did he make an attempt to work out difficult memories and create a series of sketches put in a space specially designed by him under the name Frames of Memory. Labyrinths, which make up a shocking story of the nightmare of the war.
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