Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp out of the entire Auschwitz camps complex. Built in Brzezinka (Birkenau), a village in the vicinity of the Auschwitz camp, it was a place of mass killing of Jews brought in as part of the total extermination of Jews in Europe carried out by the authorities of the Third Reich. Along with the other camps, it is a memorial site about the tragic history of the criminal activities of the German Nazis.
Place of mass extermination and genocide
Auschwitz-Birkenau is a testimony to the shocking history of genocide and the Holocaust. The construction of the camp began in 1941, approximately 3.5 kilometers from Oświęcim. As early as the next year, nearly 300 primitive, mostly wooden barracks were built on its premises, intended by the Nazis to accommodate up to 200,000 people. In its vicinity, on the other hand, there were mass extermination facilities in which most of the victims of KL Auschwitz were killed. It is believed that about 1 million people were killed in this place – Jews, Poles, Gypsies, as well as Soviet prisoners of war and prisoners of other nationalities. The vast majority, as much as 90% of the victims, were Jews.
Visiting Auschwitz II Birkenau
The Auschwitz II concentration camp is part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria blown up by the SS during the evacuation of the camp, primitive prisoners’ barracks and many kilometers of the camp fence and roads have been preserved on its territory. The visitors were made available, inter alia, entrance gate, the so-called The Gate of Death, railway unloading ramp, ruins of gas chambers and crematoria, residential and sanitary barracks, including a children’s barrack in the women’s camp, and the building of the so-called Central Sauna, where the process of registration and disinfection of newly arrived prisoners took place. There is also the International Monument to the Victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp dedicated to all those murdered in the years 1940-1945.
You should allocate 4 hours for visiting the Auschwitz II camp.
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
20 Więźniów Oświęcimia Street
+48 33 844 8000