- Oświęcim 64km W of Kraków
- tel, info: 033 844 81 00
- documentary film: zl3.50; english tours: zl26.00
- Jun-Aug 08:00-19:00; May, Sep 08:00-18:00; Apr, Oct 08:00-17:00; Mar, Nov 08:00-16:00; Dec-Feb 08:00-15:00
Lonely Planet review for Auschwitz
Established within disused army barracks in 1940, Auschwitz was initially designed to hold Polish prisoners, but was expanded into the largest centre for the extermination of European Jews. Two more camps were subsequently established: Birkenau and Monowitz. In the course of their operation, between one and 1.5 million people were killed.
Auschwitz was only partially destroyed by the fleeing Nazis, so many of the original buildings remain as a bleak document of the camp's history. A dozen of the 30 surviving prison blocks house sections of the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The cinema in the visitors centre shows a short documentary film about the liberation of the camp by Soviet troops on 27 January 1945.