If you are wondering, how Auschwitz looks like today,we encourage you to read this article. Auschwitz history is full of pain. Today it’s very important to remember about those people, who died in concentration camps. To spread the history, after over 70 years of Auschwitz liberation it’s possible to entry the camp again to see the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp in Oświęcim. This place is impossible to ignore.
In 1946 the Ministry of Culture and Art sent a group of ex-prisoners to Oświęcim to set up museum there. They decided that killing of the prisoners should be presented in special way. The government also cooperate with the Central Committee of Jews in Poland, to establish the number of Jewish victims. The exhibition was planned to consist of three parts:
General section: the story of prisoners in the camp
An international section: wartime situations of the countries whose citizens were deported to Auschwitz
Story about the other German concentration camps.
The official opening of the Museum was held on June 14, 1947. The Memorial Museum comprises two parts – the Auschwitz I camp with iconic ‘Arbeit macht Frei’ over gate and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
In 1979 UNESCO added the camp to its list of World Heritage Sites.
The Museum collections include:
- Over 100 thousand shoes
- Almost 4 thousand suitcases
- Over 12 thousand kitchen utensils
- 40 kg. of eyeglasses
- Almost 500 prostheses and orthoses
- About 4 500 works of arts (about 2 thousand were made by prisoners)
And much more uniques connected with the suffering people: ex-prisoners’ uniforms, wooden dools, camp registry cards or even hair of prisoners. The Museum collections include also the evidence of crimes connected with the extermination e.G. Zyklon B cans (the gas used in gas chambers) and helmets and other personal guards things.
The buildings and ground of the camp are open to visitors. Admission to the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is free of charge. But before visit, you should reserved the entry card. An online reservation is the only guarantee of entering the Museum on the date and time of your choice. Entry card is available to reserved on this site: visit.auschwitz.org. At least three or four hours is necessary to see all the Museum. And for better understanding the history of Auschwitz it is recommend to engage a guide or to join to guided tour. For individuals Museum offers special opportunity to join to other persons in tours, during the period from April to October from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The options are:
- General tour for groups and individuals – about 3-4 hours
- One-day study tour – about 6 hours
- One-or-Two-day study tour – about 8 hours
Visitors arriving in groups are required to engage a guide. The staff of the Museum includes about 300 guides. Fee includes a visit of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) sites with a guide, headphone rental and transportation to and from Birkenau. It cost about 45PLN (35PLN to kids and youth under 26). Guide services may be reserved also on website (up to 5 days before the visit).
The Museum is open all year long, seven days a week (except January 1, December 25 and Easter Sunday). In June, July and August you could start the visit from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
During the first ten years (since 1947), the Museum was visited by 2 million people.
The highest number of visitors was registered in 2015, when more than 1,7 million people visited Auschwitz. In the majority from Poland, Great Britain, America, Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel and France.
In total, more than 44 million people from all over the world have visited Auschwitz.
Most of the visitors are young people. It’s evident that Memorial and Museum of Auschwitz is very important part of history for the young people. But visit in Auschwitz is good lesson for each person. Auschwitz has become a primary symbol of the Holocaust.
On 29 July Pope Francis visited Auschwitz. Pope was walking through the camp’s routs and to meet former prisoners of the German Nazi concentration camp. He prayed at the ‘Wall of death’, in the Maximilian Kolbe cell and at the monument of the victims.
Those who lived in the town Oświęcim during Second World War still remember how their lifes looked like in the past. Although not everyone could walk toward the camp and see what was going on, many of them could feel what’s happening behind the barbed wire. Auschwitz today is a modern town with clubs, restaurants and shopping malls. But the memory of death is still around this place.