Tel: (48) 338-448-100
Address: Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, 32-603 Oświęcim, Poland
As you study the history of World War II, it is inevitable to learn the ethnic cleansing of Jews by Nazi Germany. Many Jews were sent to concentration camps, forced to work and kept for human experiments. Eventually, Jewish prisoners would be executed in gas chambers. Among all, the notoriety of the Auschwitz concentration camp is unparalleled.
Located in Oświęcim, a small town near the ancient capital Kraków, the concentration camp imprisoned Jews, criminals, communists, homosexuals, Gypsies and dissidents. They were delivered to the Auschwitz concentration camp by train. As Jews reached the terminal station of their lives, they would be urged to register by jailers. All valuables would be confiscated. After taking the very last photo in their lives, Jews would be jailed in the concentration camp.
Healthy grown men were sorely responsible for heavy manual labour during their days in the concentration camp. They did not receive much food and could only take rests on bunk beds with their bodies curled up. Not following jailers’ orders, lucky ones would only be beaten up while the majority of the unfortunate prisoners would be executed on the site. For the elderly, the weak, women and children who had weak working abilities, most of them would be directly sent to gas chambers. They were killed in the toxic gas due to suffocation when they thought they could finally take a shower. Those who were more luckless would be treated as the experiment subjects of human experiments. They were tested with various biochemical weapons and perished under torture. Most prisoners in the camp could not survive for 24 hours.
Walking into the site from the “rail of death” and the plaque that reads “Arbeit macht frei” (“work sets you free” in German) on the entrance, you will understand how hopeless the imprisoned Jews were. In the camp, you will follow the last footsteps of the Jews, witnessing the gas chambers in which they were executed and belongings of the deceased. Their clothes, hair and teeth, stored according to categories, are presented to you. From the photos and case files of the victims, you will be shocked to see one after another getting killed. Countless lives were brutally massacred like butchering livestock. Visiting the concentration camp with the heart sank and mourning the victims, you will understand thoroughly how horrible extremism and wars are. You, for sure after this trip, will cherish the peace, freedom and equality you have now.
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