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Ways to Experience Panstwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau
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Reviewed July 16, 2019 via mobile

Of course the museum is worth visiting and everybody shoupd know the history but the way they chose to organize everything needs huge improvements. The people hired as informators seemed to treat their work as a punishment. Queue is extremely long, no visable information about that you need an ID to come in, only 2 cash registers open so that tours go on without using all the free places while a line of people are waiting to buy tickets. Even people who only wanted to get a free entrance card (working after 5pm but they did not know and were there around 10-11 am) were standing in the same queue - why not organise a separate line and fasten the process?

Date of experience: July 2019
1  Thank f444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2019 via mobile

History was always one of my favourite school topics and impartiality WW1 and WW2. To make the decision to come to Auschwitz-Birkenau is not an easy one, it’s a place unless you have a family connection to one that had suffered at this place then it really shouldn’t be on anyone’s bucket list.

My wife and I were travelling to Krakow and we made the decision to come to Auschwitz-Birkenau to learn for ourselves the atrocities that took place here.

There are several ways to organises trip, there are lots of tour organisers in Krakow, we booked direct and it’s strongly advisable that you do book in advance and with a allocated time slot. Entry to the memorial sites is free, you only pay for an educator guide (about £7). They do tours in most European languages. We took a guide, she was very informative and likewise very good, but with the guide (3.5 hrs) you miss our on quite a bit. There were barracks in Auschwitz 1 where there were exhibitions that we did not go into, likewise after we took the free shuttle bus to Auschwitz-Birkenau (3.5km away) there was a lot we missed out on. Pretty much all of the right side of the camp (wooden huts down to Forrest, remains of chambers 4 and 5, Sauna and Kannada.

Auschwitz-Birkenau is exceptionally moving, the scale of what went on in this place can only be understood by coming here.

This is one of the regions biggest attractions and there are many tour groups, you have to accept that. There are pilgrims who come here, school groups and those who just want to understand what happened here.

What ever your reason to come; dress respectfully, act appropriately and act in reverence to those who were murdered here.

Sadly we saw a couple of youths posing for some really inappropriate photos and an American chap asking some really inappropriate questions. Ask the guides questions, but think about what your going to ask !

My day at Auschwitz-Birkenau was an unforgettable day, what moved me more than anything else was that with one step I could leave that place where so many perished and never had that chance. There is no place on earth that can be compared to Auschwitz-Birkenau, it is almost wrong to give this place a 5 * review but this is our history, Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place which should be remembered for all the evil of the Nazi regime and to be a reminder that genocide and mass extermination should never be repeated.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank ds00044724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2019

Obviously most know the horror of what took place here and so we go to observe and reflect on history that is not something to be proud of. Those who suffered should be remembered with grace.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank FrankChris545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2019

A lesson in sombre reflection on history which we should all know about. The exhibits are displayed in a respectful way and the story told is unimaginable what these poor people lived through.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank FrankChris545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2019

'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it'...the words of George Santayana are spelled out on a sign as you enter one of the buildings in the Auschwitz I museum...and it sends a shiver down your spine.

For anyone visiting the Krakow or Oswiecim area then a trip to Auschwitz I and II (Birkenau) is a must. It's not an experience you 'enjoy' or look forward to, but something I feel you need to witness, to understand the sheer scale of the atrocities that happened here towards the end of WWII when the focus of the camp went from a prison to an extermination centre. It was such a sobering experience.

Exhibits in the Auschwitz camp include Block 11 (the Death Block / internal jail), a huge display of the prisoners' possessions that were found when the camp was liberated, including shoes, personal bags, personal effects, crutches, prosthetic limbs, and a massive display of human hair they estimate was taken from around 50,000 people. Visitors were asked to be respectful to the memory of those who perished here (regarding taking photos etc) and for some displays and buildings no photos were permitted. The guide showed us the wall the SS shot prisoners against, the first of 5 gas chambers / crematoriums built on the two sites, and prison blocks that showed what the living conditions were like for the prisoners.

In Auschwitz II (Birkenau) which is a short drive away from the first camp, you get a real idea of the scale of the holocaust, it's a massive site, with a large international monument at the far end, along with the remains of the 4 larger gas chambers / crematoria built at the second camp, there are tombstones remembering those who perished here and marking open mass graves. We had a guide who took us around both sites...at the first site we all had earphones so we could easily hear what he was saying, at the second site we needed to be within earshot of the guide as earphones / headsets were not provided.

It was certainly something I will never forget...and I just hope we never see the likes of it again.

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank David E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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