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Photography @ Auschwitz

Hi All, My wife and I will hopefully be visiting Krakow in May and will be taking in Auschwitz - is photography permitted whilst there?

- Posted by Mark_J from Poland on Apr 9th, 2009

Hi Mark_J, You're not allowed to take photographs inside any of the buildings or exhibitions at Auchwitz. I'm not 100% certain about the outside. Personally I don't think it should be allowed at all. As a mark of respect for those who died there, I simply don't think it should be done. For many people, myself included, it is a place where loved ones perished and so photography is a bit crude. It's like going to a cemetery and taking photos... simply isn't acceptable. I'd recommend you book yourself a tour with a guide and they will make sure that you get the most from the experience. The guys on this site seem to organise them. I've used them for booking taxi transfers and other things, so I'm sure you'd be in safe hands. Enjoy! Legendary!

- Posted by legendary from Poland on Apr 9th, 2009

Thanks for your response, I personally see no harm in keeping a photographic record of my visit but I fully understand your views, each to their own I suppose.

- Posted by Mark_J from Poland on Apr 9th, 2009

There are two places when talking about Auschwitz. The first is the "Arbeit macht frei" place, where photographing indoors are prohibited. Outdoors there seems not to be any problem. The second place seen in "Schindlers list" or named Birkenau/Auschwitz 2 which is mostly outdoors and it seemed to be no problem. Of course this demands dignity to the fellow visitors. To travel back in your photos is important so the visit is not only a glimpse in your life.

- Posted by i was there from Poland on Apr 10th, 2009

Hey guys, apologies, I realise that you may want to take some memories away with you when you visit so that it isn't forgotten, as something like Auschwitz should never be forgotten. I lost family members there and so it is a sensitive topic for me. I go there regularly to pay my respects and know that plenty of other relatives of victims and survivors do too. I'd just say be sensitive and considerate to those around you. I'm sure you'll find it an unforgettable experience. Please do post a reply on here once you've been, I'd be interested to know your thoughts on it, or depending on when you're going, maybe I'll even give you a tour myself! Enjoy! Legendary!

- Posted by legendary from Poland on Apr 10th, 2009

Whether taking photographs or not, being sensitive is the key. I've seen very dignified behaviour by visitors to Auschwitz as a rule, with the occasional idiotic exception. A couple of years ago I saw someone strip off their t-shirt and start trying to sunbathe on the the grass in front of the famous gate - totally oblivious to the insensitivity of his actions. Needless to say, within seconds he was accosted by others and sent sheepishly packing out of the museum and back to his waiting bus in the car park.

- Posted by Jabber from Poland on Apr 10th, 2009

Again, thanks for your replies. Rest assured, I will be as sensitive and respectful as is demanded, I wont be firing off hundreds of shots in a journalistic style, but as "i was there' mentioned, I don't want to come away and let my memory of my visit fade, I want to be able to show my children pictures. I think subtlety and respect will be the order of the day. To "legendary' - things may change, but it looks my wife and I will probably be there on Friday 15th may.

- Posted by Mark_J from Poland on Apr 10th, 2009

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