Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum | Everything You Need to Know

Auschwitz-BirkenauAuschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

What is the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum?

The Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a solemn and important historical site located in Oswiecim, Poland. It stands on the site of Auschwitz concentration camp, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp, where more than 1.5 million people lost their lives between 1940 and 1945. The Auschwitz Memorial is dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims and educating visitors about the horrors of the Holocaust.

Why visit the Auschwitz Museum?

Why visit the Auschwitz Museum?
  • A glimpse into history: Auschwitz Museum delves deep into the haunting history of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. 
  • Artworks: Discover a remarkable collection of artworks created by Auschwitz prisoners. These works serve as poignant testimonies to the harsh realities of life within the concentration camps.
  • Relics: The museum houses tens of thousands of objects that once belonged to both prisoners and SS personnel, providing an unparalleled insight into daily life during the Holocaust.
  • A personal story: Your visit to the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum will introduce you to the history of the museum itself and the incredible story of Tadeusz Wąsowicz, a Holocaust survivor who played a pivotal role in creating the museum.
  • A reminder against hate: The Auschwitz concentration camp museum stands as a powerful reminder of the devastating consequences of hate and discrimination. It's not just a place to see; it's a place to reflect and learn.

Plan your visit to the Auschwitz Museum

Auschwitz Opening Hours

Explore the Auschwitz Museum

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

Auschwitz Museum collection
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

The official podcast of the Auschwitz Memorial

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.

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.

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Frequently asked questions about Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum

What is Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum?

Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a place of great historical significance, preserving the memory of the Holocaust and the suffering of countless innocent people during World War II. It is located in Oswiecim, Poland, approximately 70 kilometers from Krakow.

What can you see at the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum?

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

Who created the Auschwitz-Birenau Memorial and Museum?

Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and 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.

Can you visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum without a guide?

Yes, you can visit the Auschwitz State Museum without a guide. However, we recommend visiting with an expert guide who would share historical insights with you to enrich your experience.

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

The Auschwitz Museum has utensils, garments, jewelry, and other objects like dolls that belonged to the prisoners of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

What items belonging to SS officers can be found at the Auschwitz Museum in Poland?

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

How long does it take to tour the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum?​

It takes around 3 hours to explore the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

Is photography allowed in the Auschwitz Museum?​

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