World War II is the largest and most tragic conflict the world has ever seen. We associate the 1940s mainly with Nazism and the Holocaust. The crimes committed against the Jewish population make us shudder to this day. Concentration camps built on Hitler’s orders are infamous remnants of that period. The largest, and at the same time the most recognizable centers were built on the territory of occupied Poland.
Today the concentration and extermination camps function as memorials. The Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum (located in Oświęcim) is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world. At the exhibition in blocks, there are authentic personal belongings of prisoners. Toys, jewelry, clothes or signed suitcases are some of the most shocking items. It is worth mentioning that, the former camp is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. You can read more about auschwitz facts.
Interestingly, the first exhibition at Auschwitz was opened as early as 1945. Part of the main camp was then developed for visitors. The program was constantly expanded with new blocks. After 8 years, an exhibition was created, much of which has survived to this day.
The initial evacuation of prisoners took place as early as 1944. The German nazis tried to erase the traces of their crimes at all costs. At that time, records and vital camp documents were destroyed. They also managed to blow up the crematoria and gas chambers in several parts of the camp.
Eventually, the Red Army began to advance further and further west. The closer they got to Krakow, the more nervous the camp commanders became. In mid-January, the nazis ordered the forced evacuation of prisoners from both auschwitz and birkenau. Some were supposed to evacuate on foot, while others moved in freight cars. Thousands of people died during this operation.
On January 27, 1945, Soviet soldiers entered the camp. They were greeted by the prisoners as heroes and saviors. About 7,000 people could breathe a sigh of relief.
The lives of Holocaust survivors never returned to normal. Former prisoners often involuntarily returned to the memory of the terrible events that took place in the camp. They were often haunted by nightmares, some also suffered from insomnia. It is worth mentioning that survivors stubbornly hid food for fear of starvation.
The extant parts of the Auschwitz reflect as closely as possible the living conditions that prevailed there in the 1940s.
Some of the former Auschwitz prisoners decided to visit the museum after many years. The sight of the blocks and barracks proved overwhelming to many of them. Many survivors decided to write down their memories. The story of Halina Birenbaum or Tadeusz Borowski is known all over the world. Also noteworthy are the memoirs of victims of the holocaust in other European countries. Based on the story of Anne Frank, many films and animations have been made.
The largest of the german nazi camp is located near Kraków, in the town of Oświęcim. Auschwitz museum undergone a series of restoration and renovation works. Everything is described in detail in the documents of the site.
Today the area of the former concentration camp is made available for tourists to visit. Krakowdirect offers convenient access to the very gate of the holocaust museum. You can take advantage of both individual and group offers for Auschwitz tours. We provide modern minivans that will meet the expectations of even the most demanding passengers. It is worth adding that the drivers who work with us are always smiling and happy to answer all your questions.
Explore the history of Auschwitz and organize your visit to the museum and memorial today.