Auschwitz 1 - The Death Camp

Unless you are on a specially organized coach tour, most visitors will approach Auschwitz from Cracow. The simplest way of getting to the museum is by bus from the main station. Trains are less frequent but take roughly the same amount of time; about one and a half hours. The latter is the more unsettling choice, and although trains no longer run to the camps themselves, the railway line is still clearly visible at Birkenau, right up to where the crematoriums once stood.

The bus journey, especially if you are on the Krzeszowice road, is itself thought provoking. After leaving wealthy Cracow behind, it soon becomes apparent the extent to which Poland is still recovering from the war and its ramifications. By and large this is an impoverished land.


Background

Prior to the war, the camp territory had housed a Polish artillery barracks. After Poland's defeat, the Nazis set about converting it into a concentration camp. The liquidation of the Polish intelligentsia was a key element in Nazi policy, and the first inmates were sent here in June 1940; 728 Polish political prisoners from the old Renaissance town of Tarnow. By Spring 1942 a much larger campaign had been set in motion, a campaign to eradicate Jews from across Europe.

Jews were sent to Auschwitz from occupied countries, and the creation of two more camps, Monowitz (a vast industrial plant) and Birkenau, made this area the greatest focus for Nazi murder. Prisoners of war from across Europe were amongst the casualties, particularly Soviets. Gypsies and homosexuals were also targeted by Nazi policy. Many victims died of exhaustion or torture whilst thousands more were shot. A gas chamber and crematorium were operated here, as were much larger ones at Birkenau. This factory-like method of execution saw the Jews as its largest victims in what was an unprecedented campaign. It is estimated that between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 people died at the Auschwitz camps, the vast majority - over 90% - being Jews who perished in the gas chambers.

The Museum

A short film, drawing on archive footage of the liberation of the camp in January 1945, serves as a small introduction. From here you enter the camp proper, with its immediately recognizable gateway, inscribed with the words 'Arbeit Macht Frei', 'Work Makes Freedom', a notorious welcome if ever there was one.

The camp is spread over a relatively compact area, with neat rows of blocks containing just under forty buildings. There is a lot to take in. Hiring an English speaking guide is not a bad idea, but it is certainly important to reserve some time to explore the camp by yourself. There are many individual exhibitions, including those devoted to each of the major victims of the camps, first and foremost the Jews, and also Poles, Russians and Gypsies. There is the gas chamber with its crematorium - the insignia of the old German firm, Topf und Sohne, still being readable. There are also the cells and former living quarters of the inmates. These are stark, and looking through the keyholes is a peculiar experience. Finally there are the plain exhibits of what was found here on the liberation of the camp. Here there are rooms of clothing, general belongings and even hair of victims. These are amongst the most powerful exhibits of the camp.

Some parts of Auschwitz have been reconstructed after war-time damage so not every building is as it was in 1945. But few could argue that the museum is not faithful, and the exhibitions will speak for themselves.

Comments

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Barry from United Kingdom Reply Dec 13th, 2013

I visited this place in 2010...I would advise anybody who is thinking about the tour to look at the BBC DVD set "The final Solution"before going.I found the guide was excellent and was touched by the suffering of the men women and children who were incarcerated there..I will never be able to understand the reasoning behind the actions of the instigators of this horrific period..I am happy that some of those responsible were finally brought to justice...I was also touched and happy to see older generation talking and explaining the terrible events that took place to teenagers ....I don't think there is a chance we will ever forget...I am going to return ..a truly memorable and touching experience ...

cw75 from United States Reply Dec 9th, 2012

I wish everyone on the planet could go to see it. I've been twice now, 2011 and 2012, and will likely go again. It is vital that we do not forget what happened there to those who suffered such a horrible fate. Those who suffered must be remembered.

Steve from Australia Reply Sep 25th, 2012

My wife & myself travelled from Australia to tour through Europe and would highly recommend to anyone who is thinking about visiting Auschwicz to do so. Liz was not sure wether she should go or not however, after taking a tour with an English speaking guide both she and l came away glad in the knowing that, everyone should pay respect to all of these people who lost their lives. It would be fitting to the fallen in the knowing that they are not forgotten.

Dave Bullock from United Kingdom Reply Jun 22nd, 2012

Planning on a visit to Auschwitz. Whilst we cant turn the clock back, did the German nation really pay the penalty for their crime to humanity. I think not.

shane from Canada Reply Jun 21st, 2012

i agree with dougie from the united kingdom this was a few comments ago i defenitely recommend auschwitz

Elizabeth Miller from United States Reply May 6th, 2012

I was at Auschwitz in June 2011. It is an experience I will never, ever forget. To see the pictures on some of the walls of families with their darling children in tow with smiles on their faces, their belongings wrapped in sheets or blankets BECAUSE they were told they were going to a better place. Dear God in Heaven how can such cruelty happen? But it did!! To see the pieces of luggage with family names painted on them and their addresses so they could claim it when they got to the "better place," the personal belongings, false teeth, hair, artificial legs, shoes of all sizes, from infants to adults. Dear God it makes you thankful for what freedom really is..May God have His loving arm warmly wrapped around each and everyone of these poor individuals. Do not ever think it cannot happen again because until the evil in our world is conquered by our dear Father in Heaven, it can. Just remember "WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.' This is a favorite quote of Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, PA of whom was on the tour I was with. Ir is a sight that will forever be in your memory because we know it really and truly happened. God bless them all and we do know they are in a beautiful place at last.

Alicja from United States Reply Apr 3rd, 2012

the museum at auschwitz truly recognizes that not only jews were killed, but also the Poles, gypsies, the mentally ill, or anyone considered "imperfect" by the Germans. Although those that were slaughtered were primarily Jewish, i believe it is important to recognize ALL of the groups and people that died.

Ellen from United Kingdom Reply Mar 3rd, 2012

I find this ok, but does anyone agree its so horrible that the Nazi's targeted jews and killed so many of them, for practically no reason whatsoever?

mIKE cAMPBELL from United Kingdom Reply Mar 1st, 2012

The Germans Murdered 11,000,000 people why is the figure for the holocaust given as 5,000,000?

Dougie from United Kingdom Reply Feb 22nd, 2012

i visited auchwitz in april 2006 it does not matter how many books you read or dvds you watch you have got to visit the camp to see and sense the horror those poor men woman and children went through why because of there relgion really glad i went and ill go again never again in a lifetime for the sake of humanity should we see this happen again everybody should be allowed to live in a peaceful world and have the right to there own religion let us never forget what happend

carol mcbay from United Kingdom Reply Dec 7th, 2011

its so sad that so many people suffered and died it must have been so awful i just cant comprehend hoe they felt

daniel huxter from United Kingdom Reply Nov 10th, 2011

why did so many jewish people die?

donny from United Kingdom Reply Oct 25th, 2011

sounds really sad and frightening it scares me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liz from United Kingdom Reply Aug 20th, 2011

Hey @Dan from USA Actually, Auschwitz was a concentration camp whilst Auchwitz-Birkenau was a death camp. I think that's the right way round. It was both; concentration camps were where people went to work but also many died there, whilst death camps were where people went specifically to die. Auschwitz, joined with Auchwitz-Birkenau was both.

Miriam from United Kingdom Reply Aug 16th, 2011

Dan,USA. It wasn't a concentration camp; it was a DEATH CAMP. People were taken there to be murdered. Concentration camps are different. We need to call it by its proper name.

Maggie from Canada Reply May 3rd, 2011

Would I be able to go to Auschwitz on my own if I don't want to join an organized tour? How long is the typical sightseeing day there?

John from United Kingdom Reply Apr 18th, 2011

Hi in reply to the question from dan it was england who invented the concentration camp when we were at war with the boers in south africa many thousands died in these camps as a result of lack of food poor living standards etc

justine law from United States Reply Mar 14th, 2011

i think that the auswitz orginization is absouloutley horrible read the boy in the striped pyjamas and then u will definitly undrstand

jorda from United States Reply Mar 3rd, 2011

not really

Alan Griffiths from United Kingdom Reply Jan 12th, 2011

I visited Aushwitz in april 1984/5 I cycled from Prague.I remember in those days of communism,that there wasn`t much food to be had in poland I managed to get accomodtion I believe it was at the reception building I remember sleeping in a small barrack room on my own,I was very eerie The building I was told was built by the survivors of the warsaw uprising in 1944.Can anyone confirm this building was visitor accomodation back then?or was I dreaming?It was the saddest place I have ever been to,to make it worse it was real,no denying.NEVER AGAIN.

TJ from United States Reply Dec 19th, 2010

unfortunetly, it would not surprise me if this happened agian. as long as humans roam the earth, there will always be dictators who will try to do this, and it can happen anywhere, even the united states. power mad murderous dictators often hide behind a beautiful curtain like the cowards they are.

sadie from United States Reply Oct 31st, 2010

Auschwitz is a testimony to humanity at its worst. It should not be included on a tour of cracow or poland as some curious memento of times past. These camps are a reminder of Murder, Torture, Mayhem, Discord and Indifference. This ground should be treated with solemn and grievous reverence for the dear innocents that perished here. This will happen again if we treat these places as parts of sight-seeing packages.

dan from United States Reply Oct 30th, 2010

who invented the concentration camp ?

Chris Simpson from Australia Reply Oct 26th, 2010

Yes time out to take it in and then visit the second camp just over the railway line and it becomes all to real

juliet from United States Reply Oct 25th, 2010

how much to get to poland?

Russell Crowe from United States Reply Sep 6th, 2010

did you also know that the camp is spread over a relatively compact area, with neat rows of blocks containing just under forty buildings. There is a lot to take in. Hiring an English speaking guide is not a bad idea, but it is certainly important to reserve some time to explore the camp by yourself. There are many individual exhibitions, including those devoted to each of the major victims of the camps, first and foremost the Jews, and also Poles, Russians and Gypsies. There is the gas chamber with its crematorium - the insignia of the old German firm, Topf und Sohne, still being readable. There are also the cells and former living quarters of the inmates. These are stark, and looking through the keyholes is a peculiar experience. Finally there are the plain exhibits of what was found here on the liberation of the camp. Here there are rooms of clothing, general belongings and even hair of victims. These are amongst the most powerful exhibits of the camp. thanks, and good luck!

paul listener from United States Reply Sep 6th, 2010

i went here with my husband, it is a really horrific place, but its really go to get a good background on what happend there.

Denis from Canada Reply Jul 18th, 2010

To James & Katy...thank you, I rest my case. Greetings to you all from Canada

Katy from United Kingdom Reply Jul 18th, 2010

The comment from James Miller is quite chilling in that the views and hatred of the Nazis are still present in our society today. I agree with James from Poland and it is likely that Mr Miller could be a holocaust denier. Let us all be careful not to be drawn in by right wing extremist arguments. Auschwitz exists to our shame, let us make sure that this never happens again. God Bless.

James from Poland Reply Jul 16th, 2010

Wrong, Denis. Mr Miller isn't stupid, he's an Aryan supremacist who knows exactly what he is saying. I am no big fan of some aspects of international Judaism, but I am absolutely clear what happened there. The gas chambers are there, and not fakes.

James from Poland Reply Jul 16th, 2010

I am a Brit living here, and from the perspective of four visits, this is a very good summary.

Denis from Canada Reply Jul 15th, 2010

and to add some more about this camp...it was no only Jews that were killed here...there were Poles, Gays, Gypsys and other Allied soldiers too.

Denis from Canada Reply Jul 15th, 2010

James Miller !! you are such an idiot. I visited the camp in 1982 and 2010. There are gas chambers there. Perhaps you went to the wrong location? Like the toilets!!!

gracie from United States Reply Jun 3rd, 2010

what they did to jews was BS. and if i cud i would bring hitler back to life just so i cud kill him!!

Nadia from United States Reply May 26th, 2010

In the late 70's, my Mother and Father toured Auschwitz. The impact of the tour, still haunts my mother to this day. Shortly after their return, my mother became severly frantic. She feared that the nazis were coming to take her back to Poland, to exterminate her. She was than diagnosed with manic depression, now known as bi-polar disorder. It has been thirty years since their return. Unfortunatly, she continues to suffer from the fears, and the bi-polar disorder. If you are a sensative person, I do not recommend that you tour this place. My Father and I are traveling to Poland next month, to visit with relatives. We are not planning on touring the camp. I do not want to take the chance of losing my mental health, or living in fear for the rest of my life, like my Mother. I hope this helps some of you, who are questioning the tour.

dr ramesh from India Reply May 14th, 2010

I was shocked to hear that UNESCO is selling the furnitures and other artefacts in order to generate money for its maintenance.This is ridiculous.UNESCO must find the necessary funds to protect this structure.The neonazist movement is getting activated.

Lorna from Ireland Reply May 9th, 2010

Natalie from the U.K. do not be anxious about how you will react when you visit Aushwitz. If it affects you as you feel it will, it is just proof that you are human. Your feelings matter to you and no-one else. No-one is going to laugh at you, or judge you, remember where you are. I hope you get through it ok.

Rachel from United States Reply Apr 29th, 2010

IF i was doing a report on a historical place i would take it on the Holocaust and use this website for my information. I think everbody should use this website because it shows the background of Auschwitz. So thank you people who designed it.

Natalie from United Kingdom Reply Apr 28th, 2010

I'm off to Poland soon and am planning on visiting auschwitz- its probably one of those things worth preparing yourself for mentally.. Probably a stupid question but to anyone who has been- I'm a very emotional person and believe I'll be quite bad- in your experience did others act that way? I don't want to make a scene or make others uncomfertble if I do go on a tour around the camp

arcoins from United States Reply Apr 28th, 2010

this is a good website

rathernotsay from United States Reply Apr 20th, 2010

I think this is a really good website!

from United States Reply Apr 20th, 2010

I think this page gave a lot of good information and people who need to learn about Auschwitz should come to this site.

Hannah from United States Reply Mar 31st, 2010

I'm learning this in world history and what the book says doesn't even begin to compare to this--I'm shocked.

Simon from United Kingdom Reply Mar 30th, 2010

Wasn't sure whether to go or not. After all, it's not the normal kind of thing you do on a holiday. But all things considered, glad we went.

sexy raincloud from United States Reply Mar 25th, 2010

wow

Victoria from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2010

I've just got back from Poland having visited Auschwitz and even been lucky enough to meet a survivor. It's made me rethink so many things and I can't adequately describe how much of a life changing experience it is. I urge everyone to go because otherwise the suffering there is just a statistic and we won't learn from it.

Bette from New Zealand Reply Feb 27th, 2010

My 17 year old daughter visited Auschwitz yesterday while on a trip to Poland. She has studied the war and the events which took place in camps such as this, so she was well informed, but I believe she was so overwhelmed with the visit, that she had to phone us at home at 3am on the other side of the world to tell us that she had just completed her visit. I am sure the weight of all those souls lost, weighed heavy on her heart, and I felt very sad for her when we heard her voice early this morning. It is important to visit places such as this in the world, to remind us to LEARN THE LESSONS OF OUR PAST, and to continue to hope that, as humans, we will attempt to avoid horrors such as these again. I fear that we are slow learners, but I hope that my courageous daughter will carry the lesson forward.

CLife from Poland Reply Feb 26th, 2010

Hi Paul, On balance, I'd recommend taking your 8 year old to the medieval salt mines instead. I'd say Auschwitz is not for under 13s. You could have a good look around the former Jewish district of Krakow though (Kazimierz). There are many imposing synagogues and museums. All Best,

jade from United States Reply Feb 17th, 2010

That sooooooooooooooooo ssssssssssaaaaaadddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul from Ireland Reply Feb 17th, 2010

I am thinking of bringing my 8 year old daughter to see Auschwitz. Do you think it suitable for a child of that age.

Gerorgina from United Kingdom Reply Feb 15th, 2010

I think that people have there own views on things and that if people want to move to ireland or any where else then they should be able to with out having nasty coments about them coming they dont say any thing when people go over there do they. and as a polish person my self i think that people should think that it was a long time ago when the jews were getting killed asnd it wasn't the polish people that was doing it , it was the germans who started it so don't take it out on polish people. People might think things about irish people but they don't moan about it and i bet irish people have done some bad things in the past but you don't say any thing about that nah do u so.....

niall from Ireland Reply Feb 3rd, 2010

well tomek Poland is that why ye polish come over to eire(with all ye're acceptance of other race's) and think ye can take the place over with ye're ignorant attitude to the irish people,well ye never learned anything off hilter(threat other race's well)

cameron from United Kingdom Reply Jan 22nd, 2010

i'm a student at hazel grove high school. we have been learning about aushwitz and the boy and the stryped pyjamas. we whatched the film the other day and i thought that it was really disturbing seeing bruno and all the rest of the juis being gassed. i wish world war two never happened because i can't stop thinking about it. aushwitz is a very disturbing place. i think that this website is really is awesome because you have comments from people.

james from United Kingdom Reply Jan 22nd, 2010

i am a student from hazel grove high school and we have been learning about it and in my opinion i think autchwitz is a horrible place and i think no people should go through what they have been through.

robert lallement from United Kingdom Reply Jan 22nd, 2010

i am 12 years old and im in school and ive been learning about auschiwitz and i was disturbed at it at first cause who would kill inasent children and men plus women it is shoking.

brooklyn from United Kingdom Reply Jan 21st, 2010

auschwitz is terrible im researching it in school yuck its so disturbibing

Melanie from United States Reply Jan 12th, 2010

I agree with tomek!Stupid Hitler is responsible.

Melanie from United States Reply Jan 12th, 2010

I am wrtiting a holocaust reacsearch project.Does anybody know where I can find some information?

tomek from Poland Reply Jan 12th, 2010

To all who claim that the polish were responsible for the death camps - you stupid morons, stop watching Hannah Montana and listening to the false accusations and go read and learn some history books. Patrick from Netherlands - I think you took too much X-pills or some mushrooms - You $#% moron - Poland was one of the most tolerant countries in Europe regarding imigrants especially Jews. Don't write lies if you don't know the truth.

tracy from United Kingdom Reply Dec 1st, 2009

I visited Auschwitz 3 years ago whilst on a short break to Cracow. I felt I couldn't be so close without visiting as I realised I may not get a 2nd chance. I still find it difficult to adequately describe the experience. The exhibits at Auschwitz are shocking in both what is implicit and explicit but the impact of the desolate Birkenau is just as big. I have to say the visit haunts me and I think it always will. I didn't take any pictures as it seemed disrespectful to those who suffered and died but I didn't need to, the images are held in my memory. For all the souls who suffered in the Holocaust at Auschwitz, Birkeneau and others we must remember and we must ensure our current and future generations understand this lesson from history.

Suad from United Arab Emirates Reply Nov 29th, 2009

I have never visit the Auschwitz but i have bean in consentration camp near by Gdansk when i was a little, maybe 13 or more... Till now i cannot forget this horrible pictures in my mind, HITLER and NAZIES ware a devis and if someone will say that was not reall is the same like them!!!! Most of my family die there and how com someone can say that this was a poropagande or not real??? This Jane must be uneducaited and cruel person! Maybe Hitler was her grandfather who knows???!!!!

derek from United Kingdom Reply Nov 18th, 2009

i visited auschwitz a few years ago whilst visiting relatives in krakow - although i had read and seen some of the literature/film about auschwitz i was'nt fully prepared on what to expect - but i felt this was something that i had to do - to pay my respects to all those who had their lives taken so brutally. my step mums polish and i have sisters who are polish/english i also have many relatives in poland some who may have been survivors from the camps. the visit opened my eyes it is something i will never forget - if you are reading this transcript please take some time and visit auschwitz to pay your respects to those who were lost.this should never ever happen again.

derek from United Kingdom Reply Nov 18th, 2009

i visited auschwitz a few years ago whilst visiting relatives in krakow - although i had read and seen some of the literature/film about auschwitz i was'nt fully prepared on what to expect - but i felt this was something that i had to do - to pay my respects to all those who had their lives taken so brutally. my step mums polish and i have sisters who are polish/english i also have many relatives in poland some who may have been survivors from the camps. the visit opened my eyes it is something i will never forget - if you are reading this transcript please take some time and visit auschwitz to pay your respects to those who were lost.this should never ever happen again.

Aaron Ambrose from United States Reply Nov 18th, 2009

Whoe e Whoe e Woa Thats IS Not CRazy At All

e-delacroix from United States Reply Oct 2nd, 2009

My great-great-gramma,her sister was sent to Auschwitz,she died thou,but i was supposed to go on that tour,never happened thou,but it prolly would interesting

d roberts from United Kingdom Reply Sep 26th, 2009

I have been there twice. the first time on an organised guided tour, the second on a private tour with friends. The guided tour was well organised and trully informative. Unfortunately it was also a little rushed and i didnt get to see all that I wanted to. The private tour was well-priced and allowed much more time to explore the camps. If you only intend going there once I would recommend doing some extensive research before you go and then book a private tour. You can then take your own time to really feel the atmosphere of this terrifying place. No disrespect to the tour guides who are excellent, but when all is said and done they are running to tight schedules and do not allow for people to dwell on things and absorb the true horror of the happenings. I will go back again. Even on a private tour that allowed about five hours in the camps I did not see everything I wanted to. It is an unforgettable experience the really does change your perception of daily life.

Callum Taylor from United Kingdom Reply Aug 21st, 2009

i went i fort it ws reaily good it was scry and sad but if you go you will love it it just so amaysing how the keep the bilding up and let everone have tours.so happy to have gone now serisly go try it for your self

Joanna from United Kingdom Reply Jul 28th, 2009

I went to Auschwitz last summer while in Krakow. It was an amazing experience. The magnitude of what you have seen does not really hit you until you have left. Well worth a visit.

Sophie Benn from United States Reply Jun 30th, 2009

I never believed that I would actually see Auschwitz in real life. So much to take in. There were lots of people there but we managed to see a lot. Takes time absorb everything you see but worth making the effort

MaryAnn from United States Reply Jun 28th, 2009

I haven't been to Auschwitz although I want to go, but I have been to Dachau in Munich. I feel I must go to Auschwitz. These camps while unpleasant, are something that ever free person should experience to help them understand the value of freedom. I recall reading Man's Search for Meaning in College which was written by a survivor Viktor Frankl. Whether you can go to the site or not, the book is a truly worthy read that has withstood the test of time.

Pamela Kemp from United Kingdom Reply Jun 17th, 2009

I returned from Krakow at end of May. My experience of Auschwitz is alot more than what I initially expected. Even today memories of my visit still come to mind when I least expect it of the harrowing existence these prisioners had and how they perished in their thousands. I will definately return. There is a great book shop there where I bought a few books however I am unable to bring myself to read them yet. This visit will definately make you look differently on your outlook of life.

Sarah-L from United Kingdom Reply Jun 11th, 2009

I would love to visit Auschwitz as i have been recently been studing Concentration camps and took a great intrest in it. I would like to see what one looks like and what i feels like to go through what they went through. But unfortunatly i can not go as i am only 11 and im to young im not actually sure what the age is but i think i would be to emotional if i went. The Nazi and Hitler are a disgrace to the world as they could think of such sick things like that

E from United Kingdom Reply Jun 5th, 2009

I am 15 and recently visited Auschwitz with my family. Nothing can prepare you for the experience - no film or book can create the same eery atmosphere you feel when you are actually there. We travelled there by bus and even that was devastating, especially in the snow. In fact, the whole bus fell silent as we approached and for the entire journey back to Krakow, proving how much of an impact it has. The whole place is silent - we didn't even speak to each other during our visit. People have asked me about it since we came back and i have found it difficult to desribe, the only word that comes to mind is harrowing. I think it should be made compulsory for all children of my age to visit Auschwitz - to show how fortunate we are in this generation. I am quite certain i will never come across an atmosphere like i did that day ever again, but i know i will never forget it either.

Nicole from Australia Reply Jun 4th, 2009

My mother went 20 years ago she doesn't really remember what it was like but she said that it was very moving and a little interesting. I guess it really shows what morons the Nazis were.

Pamela from United Kingdom Reply May 22nd, 2009

I will be visiting Auschwitz for the first time next week. I have only ever read about or seen in films about this concentration camp and have no idea what to expect when visiting for real. I have been reading other people's comments and have taken on board their own experiences so I will be prepared, to an extent, mentally what to expect. I will update on my return.

Janet from United Kingdom Reply May 6th, 2009

I found Aushwitcz very crowded I visited last Saturday. It was a moving experience. I wouldn't necessarily recommended a guide as we missed out some of the huts there due to queues. We also had to wait quite a while for the tour to start when we could have been looking round.

amber from United States Reply May 1st, 2009

i seen this infamous place with my own eyes and it was truely a life changing experience the things you see and the feeling you experience are mind boggeling i recommend this place to anyone that gets the chance to see it

P from Thailand Reply Apr 16th, 2009

Will be seeing it this weekend! Excited...

S from United States Reply Mar 11th, 2009

I recently been studying Auschwitz and I feel the need to go and see it with my bare own eyes. I will being going pretty soon to see what it feels like.

lil and shin from United Kingdom Reply Mar 5th, 2009

we both have been learning about this in class and feel that the auschwitz shouldnt exsist. and that this is cruel and what have the jews done to diserve this... thanks for reading

ruth from United Kingdom Reply Mar 4th, 2009

i recently visited Auschwitz and Berkanau. it was the most eye opening exerience of my life and one that will never leav me. i am 16 years old and i now understand the true meaning of suffering. the inmates of Auschwitz experienced hell at the hands of the Nazi soldiers and we must never forget that for if we forget how can we change. we must always remember what the did for us. it is shocking to think that the atrocities of the past are still being repeated today in places like Darfur and we as a nation must make people aware of this. we must act now before it is too late and we have another mass burial ground.

Becky from United Kingdom Reply Feb 27th, 2009

I am going to vist autwitz in july ann i am soo scared because i dont know how i am going to react !i recently wactched the boy in the stripped pjamers and it made me cry so much ! i don't know how am going to react! amm soo scared :(

Lucy from United Kingdom Reply Dec 19th, 2008

I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau at the beginning of this month and I havnt thought of anything else since. I feel that everyone should go to witness this terrible thing that happened to those good people. Everytime I complain that im hungry, tired or sick of work I think of those that went through hell, that were murdered and that there lives were shown no respect. We should live our lives good and to the fullest for them. The experience of Auschwitz will stay with me forever.

beentogerman from Ireland Reply Nov 27th, 2008

hitler was born in austria , he was never german,you cannot treat the german badly for what has happened,the son should not have to suffer for the sins of the father

s from United Kingdom Reply Nov 3rd, 2008

I just returned from my visit to poland and Auschwitz and im really struggling to put into words how i feel. i always found it hard to connect to the victims of the holocaust, despite being jewish myself, but my visit to Auschwitz has changed that. I broke down several times and since leaving have thought of little else. I feel the overwhelming urge to DO something now ive returned, just because the jews were so helpless. I cant describe my feelings in any words as I have never felt this way before, and i dont believe any words exist which could effectively summarise the emotions i am experiencing. before entering I was given the name of a young jew who perished in auschwitz at the same age as me, and now he is all i can think about. I feel guilty that there is nothing i could have done, and at the fact that i am able to walk out of the camp at the end of the day, when he and millions of others, were not.

sarah OBie from United States Reply Oct 7th, 2008

i visited Auschwitz in 2005 i was only 15 at the time and i had only knew the basics about what had happened before i visited i was staying in poland for the summer as an exchange student me and about ten other kids from the united states and this had to be one of the most eye opening experiences of my life it taught me so much about the quality of living and what people went through to get the freedoms we had today so from the time i got home till now i have dedicated my life to helping people ... going to Auschwitz really changed my life...

mike hart from United Kingdom Reply Oct 5th, 2008

just arrived back in the uk. the visit prompted more research to try and understand the full story of the horrible things that occured here

veronica larios from Honduras Reply Oct 3rd, 2008

I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau on October 2005, and was an unforgettable experience to be in a place where you could still feel all the pain and death, all the suffer of all the Jews who were imprisoned there and kept like animals.

from United Kingdom Reply Jul 23rd, 2008

i recently visited auschwitz on a school trip and i now feel spirtierly enhanced when you learn about it in school it is not the same as going to actulley see it in real life. in a class room you think how could this be true and how big was it but when you go and see it you then realise what a big opperation it was and that this event was actually real.

Jen Lewis from United Kingdom Reply Apr 9th, 2008

I have recently visited Auschwitz and Birkenau. The experience was profound and moving. In my thoughts are all the people who lost their lives; the vast number of Jews and also those others, who, for whatever reason, we do not hear so much about; homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, Russians, Polish people among others. The lessons are there to be learnt if only we would take the time to learn them.

Patrick from Netherlands Reply Apr 5th, 2008

I´m about to visit the camp in april 2008. I´ve never been there but have been very interested in that entire period in europe. I think we all know and recognize what went on there, unfortunately it is more then often used as a precedent for the current situation in the middle east.Has anybody ever been in Palestina, seen how those people suffer and have been pushed away from their lands. The nazi´s didn´t start with the extermination camps until 1941, and from 1933 until 1939 have tried to force jews to leave germany but in fact, nobody in europe wanted them. The maximum quota for the USA was 10.000 per year... Entire trains were turned back on the Dutch border in 1939 even. If there is blaim, there is plenty to go around, ALL european nations (and Poland as nr.1 with an anti-semite government and teachings in that period, the idea to exterminate jews originated from there). The USSR was probably treating their jewish population worse then the germans if possible, and this went on AFTER the war, from one camp in germany to the next in Siberia... No excuse for anything, but it is time for a shared, collective guild and one that can also be put in history, so behind us, as has been done with the crusades, middle ages progroms, the boer war, etc etc.

Sarah Harrison from United Kingdom Reply Mar 28th, 2008

I have to say anyboby visiting Poland should take time to go to Auschwitz. It is definately an eye opener and an experience you will never forget. We had a tour guide during our visit, but I do believe that your better off going round the concentration camp at your own leisure. We were only in Poland for a few days so we didn't have a lot of time. Certainly makes you feel different about life.

Ally from United Kingdom Reply Mar 25th, 2008

I have always been interested in the holocaust trying to understand how people could inflict such horror on other human beings. I am about to visit auschwitz for the first time and i am currently 5 months pregnant which makes it all the more poignient knowing that if i was of that generation being sent to Auschwitz i would have been either gassed or experimented on. I feel that although it would have been an emotional journey now carrying my first child i feel extremely nervous about going but feel i need to to understand the atrocities carried out there fully.

brendan cahill from Ireland Reply Mar 8th, 2008

i have aushwitz camp twice in 2006 a guided tour, and 2007 i spend a full day on my own.Not a day goes buy but i think of the place and all the people murdered there. EVERY TIME I EAT I THINK OF THE INMATES WHO DIED OF STARVATION.I hope to go back there again in the next year.yes a very sad place but a place everybody should visit.

Krissy from United Kingdom Reply Mar 4th, 2008

I,ve just come back from Auschwitz/Berkenau. All I can say is, that is was an experience I think everyone with a sympathetic heart should visit. I didnt know exactly what to expect to be honest, but I wouldnt of missed going for the world. The atmosphere was extremeley intense from everyone that visited and unless you,ve been there there are no words that can express the true feelings that goes through you. It was an experience I will never forget, and to be honest I dont want to forget. I hope that whoever visits Auschwitz/Berkenau will remember all that went on in that dreadful full place and come away feeling how lucky we are.

sophie from United Kingdom Reply Feb 20th, 2008

i am about to visit Auschwitz and am feeling apprehensive, it is going to be something i remember for ever, and yet, because of my jewish heritage i am dreading the reallisation of the damage that was caused. Its a depressing thought that so few people realise the true horrors that occured.

Lydia K from United States Reply Jan 22nd, 2008

My children, age 15 and 16, along with my parents, who are fluent in Polish visited Auschwitz in July 2007. My parents came to America when they were young children. This was not my first visit to Auschwitz but my 2nd. My first visit was when I was young. I am glad my kids were old enough to appreciate this visit. This is a very sobering journey. Truely, you can feel the aura of those that suffered in this camp. In many buildings throughout Auschwitz it is so quiet you can here a pin drop. This is something that can never truely be explained, it has to be felt. If you ever have the chance to visit, do not think once, but twice, and consider what you will never again experience in your lifetime. It is by acknowleding the past, we can prepare for the future.

Krissy from United Kingdom Reply Dec 28th, 2007

I,m visiting Krakow in March 08. I will be visiting to auschwitz and Birkenau. So why do I feel nervous? I know what went on in this place and places like it, however hard it is to believe and imagine that such cruelty did and could happen. I have read other peoples reviews and although I,m excited about going ( if excited is the right word to use, I apologise if its not! ) I cant believe how nervous I am. Last year I visited another place that is recognised in Amsterdam, and although it was a sad place to visit I could honestly say I didnt feel the atmosphere I thought I would. I,ll let you know what I think when I get back. Wish me luck xx

aimee from United States Reply Dec 18th, 2007

thats such a horrible thing that happend what sick person would want to do that!

Dave from Ireland Reply Dec 16th, 2007

Nothing can prepare you for this place. I couldnt imagine anyone not being profoundly shocked and disturbed by this place- really it is just terrifing. Were only back a couple of days so it hasnt all sunk in- but already I know its somthing that will stay with me forever. We paid 300 Zlotys for a Taxi from Crakow and took the offical tour. We only stayed about an 1.5hrs- maybe we should have taken longer, but on the other hand maybe it was long enough. If you've ever make/made or laughed at a Racist 'joke' Auschwitz will make think about just how dangerous these can be.

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