German Death Camp

Why should everyone take a trip to Auschwitz? What things will you not learn from a school history lesson? Read the article below and you may be surprised!

SS men ordering portraits of their wives from prisoners. Inmates, arranging „artistic mornings. And the importance of… shoes. In descriptions of camp reality, it is often the manifestations of its „normality” that are most shocking. Visit Auschwitz and see for yourself what people went through…

An attempt at normality

Auschwitz prisoners also sought escape from everyday life and the threat of death in self-organized entertainment. On a „stage” made of blankets, prisoner-artists sang camp songs. They also gave speeches and recited poems. They organized stage and circus performances there. Mimes, acrobats, clowns, and even illusionists performed in the hidden theaters. Some prisoners even parodied highlander dances, performing as both dancer and dancer.

Prisoners who could paint were given various tasks. Sometimes they were forced to create portraits of other victims of the camp, subjected to cruel medical experiments. And sometimes SS men… commissioned them to paint portraits of their wives or girlfriends.

The hardships of everyday life

Unloading freight cars was one of the most mentally exhausting jobs in the camp. But it saved them from death from hunger and exhaustion. Sometimes the corpses of infants spilled out of the middle of the wagons arriving at Auschwitz. Working on the unloading, however, gave prisoners paradoxical benefits. They could take handfuls of the food they received.

The modern city

At the site of present-day Oświęcim, an Aryan residential area was to be created. The chief architect of the new Auschwitz, Hans Stosberg, quickly gave in to his mania for greatness. A design from January 1943 predicted that up to 80,000 people would live in the new city. The Germans who were building the ideal city did not mind at all the proximity of the largest death factory in history. They had no intention of being ashamed of Auschwitz Birkenau.

The word tolerance did not exist in those days

Homosexuals were sent to concentration camps under Section 175 of the German Criminal Code. They had the status of criminal prisoners or sex offenders. The circumstances of the arrest of most remain unknown. However, there is a well-known story that one prisoner was demonized by a jealous partner.

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Recreation for officers

Before Solahütte was established, SS officers bored with their work at the camp often visited Międzybrodzie Bialskie, only a few dozen kilometers from Auschwitz. They came for one-day feasts, integration Kameradschafts, and dancing parties in the restaurant in the center of the village. The Nazi leadership, however, did not want the SS men to get drunk in front of the subhumans… So they decided to build a special summer resort for them.


Aiming to maximize profits, the Germans set up special goldsmith shops in the camp crematoria to extract dental gold. The main purpose of the Auschwitz camp’s existence was not only „the final solution of the Jewish question.” The property looted from the prisoners, their free labor, and even their corpses brought the Nazis enormous profits. Auschwitz was – without question – one big corporation built on genocide.

Auschwitz Birkenau Museum today

The Museum conducts a wide range of scholarly, publishing, research, and commemorative activities. Each year, January 27 is celebrated as the day of liberation from Auschwitz. On that day, ceremonial commemorations take place to honor the victims of the camp. This date was adopted in 2005 by the UN General Assembly as the „International Holocaust Remembrance Day”. Auschwitz Museum is also the most important partner for many institutions around the world dealing with the history of the Holocaust and concentration camps, especially the Israeli Institute Jad Waszem in Jerusalem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Visit the Museum near Krakow and see why its power is so great!

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