Auschwitz is the other name for the groups of concentration camps created by the German forces during World War II to contain prisoners of wars and civilians.
The site is located in southern Poland, just outside the town of Oswiecim. For several descendents of those who died during the war, Auschwitz has transformed into a solemn pilgrimage destination. Those who visit the area will understand how it was to live in such a terrible time.
About the Camps
The camp is generally divided into three main areas namely Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II and Auschwitz III. The camps became a symbol of genocide where thousands of people were executed through the orders of Adolf Hitler. There were gas chambers in the area where people were killed immediately after arriving in trains. Before the war ended, the Germans attempted to eliminate all the evidence of the horrible crimes they committed in these camps. However, several agencies soon uncovered the structures and equipment. The site was improved through the years. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was also built.
Auschwitz I or Stammlager is a must-visit area for tourists. It features the military barracks and several photos and items that will vividly present the tortuous events during World War II. The only gas chamber will be found in the area. In Auschwitz II or Birkenau, visitors will find the entrance gate, old barracks and prison structures. There are also ruins of the five gas chambers. The place is rather huge and located 3 km from Stammlager. There is also a museum in Auschwitz I where visitors can watch a short film about the place. It was recorded by Ukrainian troops on the day it seized the area.
There are one-day and two-day study tours available and guided tours for individual visitors. Guests have to reserve about 2 weeks before visiting the camps. Reservations can be made via the internet, fax, telephone or the reception point at the museum. The telephone number is (+48) 33 844 81 00 and the fax number is (+48) 33 843 22 27.
A guide is highly recommended especially when visiting in groups. Guide services will come at a fee and only those authorized are allowed to lead visitors through the sites. There are also guides that can serve visitors speaking a specific language. General tours last about 3.5 hours. The one-day tours last about 6 hours while the two-day tours last 8 hours.
Visiting Auschwitz will be very memorable especially for the descendants of World War II soldiers and the victims of the Holocaust.