Miejsce Pamięci i Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau. Były niemiecki nazistowski obóz koncentracyjny i zagłady
The Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. The former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp
The Germans established Auschwitz in occupied Oświęcim as a camp for Polish political prisoners, whose first transport was brought from the prison in Tarnów on 14 June 1940. From 1942, Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people here, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and people of other nationalities.
Since 1947, the grounds of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp have housed the State Museum, which is a scientific, research and educational facility that collects, processes, preserves, and makes available documents and post-camp objects. The Memorial and Museum cover the area of the two extant parts of the camp: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is necessary to visit both parts, located from each other at a distance of about 3.5 kilometres, to get to know the place properly. The distance can be covered by a free shuttle bus or on foot through the camp area. During the occupation, the German industrial plants and workshops, warehouses, offices, and technical facilities of the camp were located, being the prisoners' places of work and death. The remains of several railway sidings and ramps, where trains with people deported to the camp were brought and where the SS carried out the selection of prisoners. You should spend about 1.5 hours in Auschwitz and at least as much time exploring Birkenau. Within the boundaries of the Museum, original or partly reconstructed buildings, such as the ruins of gas chambers and places filled with human ashes, primitive prisoner barracks and kilometres of camp fences and roads, have been preserved on almost 200 hectares. The major exhibition (Blocks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11) contains documentary photographs, photocopies of documents, models and sculptures, and historical exhibits: prisoners' clothes, bunks, and other equipment used in the prisoner barracks and things taken from the prisoners. In the cinema room in the reception building at the Auschwitz I site, visitors can watch a fifteen-minute documentary film showing the first moments after the liberation of the camp.
In recent years, more than two million people from all over the world visit the Museum every year. In 1979 the grounds of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp were entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The day of the camp liberation - January 27 - was declared by the UN the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.