Auschwitz-Birkenau is the best-known cemetery and place of genocide in the world. Started in 1940 as a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners, in 1942 the camp became a center for the extermination of European Jews. During the years 1940 to 1945, approximately 1.5 million people died there. The majority of the camp's victims were Jews, along with Poles, Gypsies, Russian POWs and members of other nationalities.
Your tour of this haunting site begins onboard the coach with a 15-minute documentary about the liberation of the camp. On arrival at the museum, your guide will show you the exhibitions in some of the surviving prison blocks, the gas chamber and the crematorium.
After a short break, the tour continues to Birkenau, where the view from the watchtower above the entrance gate reveals the forbidding expanse of the biggest Nazi concentration camp built during the Holocaust. A Martyrdom Museum was set up here in 1947, and in 1979 Auschwitz-Birkenau was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.
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