Auschwitz museum

Auschwitz Museum - Memorial Dedicated To Victims of Holocaust

What Is The Auschwitz Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum?

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a museum on the sites of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Located near the little town of Oświęcim (better known by its German name, Auschwitz), more than 1.5 million people were executed here between 1940 and 1945. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum now stands in the garrison of Auschwitz, while Birkenau has been kept to look as it did after the liberation. The two camps are now prominent memorial sites for the Holocaust's tragedies.

Why Visit the Auschwitz Museum?

  • The Auschwitz Museum relates the in-depth history of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
  • View works of arts made by Auschwitz prisoners that depicts the reality of life in concentration camps
  • The museum houses tens of thousands of objects that belonged to the prisoners and even the SS, which gives you a unique insight into life during the Holocaust.
  • The visit to Auschwitz Museum will let you know about the history of the museum itself and Tadeusz Wąsowicz, Holocaust survivor and the creator of the museum.
  • Auschwitz Museum stands today as a reminder of the effects of hate and discrimination.

History of Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in a Minute

  • In April 1946, acting under the direction of Poland's Ministry of Culture and Art, a group of former prisoners headed by Tadeusz Wąsowicz created the Auschwitz Museum to conserve the Auschwitz campsite.
  • On July 2, 1947, the Polish parliament passed an act establishing the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which comprises the grounds of two extant parts of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camps.
  • The first exhibition in the barracks opened in 1947.
  • Following the Polish Foreign Ministry's objections to the use of the expression "Polish death camp" in relation to Auschwitz, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee approved a revision in the entry for the ruins of the Auschwitz concentration camp during its 31st session on June 27, 2007. "Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)" is the appended name.

Explore the Auschwitz Museum

Get a unique insight into life in Auschwitz concentration camp through the works showcased at the museum.

Auschwitz Museum collection

Historical Collections

The Auschwitz Museum houses tens of thousands of artifacts with unique characteristics, meanings, and symbolism. Thousands of pairs of shoes, 3,800 luggage, 2,100 of which retain the names of their owners, over 12,000 kitchen utensils, 470 prostheses and orthoses, 397 striped camp clothing, and around 4,100 works of art are among the Museum's holdings. The most haunting of the items are the ones that belonged to the prisoners, like their garments, signet rings made in captivity, and handmade dolls. Auschwitz Museum also has items belonging to the SS Garrison responsible for undertaking the mass extermination.

Read About Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Auschwitz museum art

Works of Art

A unique collection of great historical and emotional value, it can be divided into the following categories:

Ilegal works: Made in concealment from the SS, the collection includes work that documents the reality of the camp. 

Sanctioned works: Made on orders from the SS. These included instructional drawings, visualizations of plans for expanding the camp, and more.  

Lagermuseum: Set up by the Germans to showcase items plundered from people deported to the camp.

Post-war works: Works made after the war by former prisoners.

Auschwitz museum archives


Items related to the history of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp are collected and preserved. The artifacts from other concentration camps are also taken care of by the Archives department.

Original German camp records, copies of documents obtained from other institutions in Poland and abroad, postwar source material (memoirs, accounts by former prisoners, material from the trials of Nazi war criminals, etc. ), photographs, microfilms, negatives, documentary films, scholarly studies, reviews, lectures, exhibition scenarios, and film scripts are all included in the collection.

Plan Your Visit to Auschwitz

The official podcast of the Auschwitz Memorial

The International Council of the Auschwitz Museum

The International Auschwitz Committee was founded in 1952 by survivors of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp with the goals of informing the world about what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau, protecting the interests of survivors, and encouraging and supporting interactions among regional Auschwitz commissions. In 1990, the Minister of Culture and Art issued an order establishing the International Council of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The positions of the members of the Council were filled by world-renowned experts on concentration camps and the Holocaust.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Preservation Department

The Auschwitz Museum Preservation Department is in charge of safeguarding the remains of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. It has access to one of the world's leading preservation facilities and employs a workforce of highly skilled landmark preservation professionals as well as specialists in a variety of technology sectors. It keeps track of the artifacts on the property and performs necessary conservation maintenance. The Department invests a significant amount of time and resources to the conservation of mobile objects in the Museum's collections.

Plan Your Visit To The Auschwitz Museum

Getting There
Auschwitz Museum timings

December: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
January & November: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
February: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
March, October: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
April, May & September: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
June, July & August: 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Closure: January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday.
Duration: A visit takes around 3 hours. A visitor may stay on the site of the Museum 90 minutes after the last entrance hour.

Getting to Auschwitz Museum

Address: Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, 32-603 Oświęcim, Poland

Find on Map

The Museum is located on the outskirts of the city of Oświęcim on national road 933. The visit starts at the former Auschwitz I site.

By bus: The nearest bus stop is Krakow Central. Bus no 414 plies regularly to this stop.

By train: Take a direct train from Krakow to Oswiecim. The Auschwitz Museum is about 2 km from the train station. 

By car: It is a 1-hour 15-minute drive from Krakow. Entry to the main parking lot of the Museum is at Stanisławy Leszczyńskiej street. 

All Your Questions About the Auschwitz Museum Answered

Q. What can you see at the Auschwitz Museum?

A. The Auschwitz Museum holds artifacts relevant to the holocaust and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Q. Who created the Auschwitz Museum?

A. Auschwitz Museum was created by a group of prisoners headed by Tadeusz Wąsowicz in April 1946 under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Art.

Why is Auschwitz Museum open to the public?

A. Yes, The Auschwitz Museum is open to the public.

Q. When did the Auschwitz Museum open?

A. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was established on 2 July 1947 in the area of the former concentration camp.

Q. Can you visit the Auschwitz Museum without a guide?

A. Yes, you can visit the Auschwitz Museum without a guide.

Q. What personal possessions of prisoners can be found at the Auschwitz Museum?

A. The Auschwitz Museum has utensils, garments, jewelry, and other objects like dolls that belonged to the prisoners of the SS garrison.

Q. What items belonging to SS officers can be found at the Auschwitz Museum?

A. You can find helmets, belt buckles, chairs, winter garments, whips, furniture, and motorcycle number plates belonging to SS officers at the Auschwitz Museum.

Q. How long does it take to cover the Auschwitz Museum?​

A. It takes around 3 hours to cover the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Q. Is photography allowed in the Auschwitz Museum?​

A. No, commercial photography without clearance is not allowed at the Auschwitz Museum.

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From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour with Fast-Track Entry

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