Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

The State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Polish: Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau) is a monument of German War Crimes in Poland in Oświęcim and encompasses the two concentration camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau . Homicides and camps are made during the Second World War . The museum also has several other functions, for example, research about the Holocaust of Nazi Germany .


The museum was founded on July 2, 1947 by decision of the Polish Parliament. The total area is 191 hectares. Since 1979 the museum is a cultural heritage of humanity. 25 million people have visited the museum to this day. Places of memory are: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz-Birkenau and the train line between Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The museum takes place in several old buildings of the concentration camp.


After the Soviet Union had delivered the concentration camp to Poland , the Polish Parliament declared on July 2, 1947 the camp a museum. At the same time the first exhibition took place in the country barracks. In the following years they reviewed the exhibitions several times. In 1961 it was given the opportunity to make one own exhibition to all those countries that had been occupied by Germany and whose citizens had been exported to Auschwitz. Among these countries are Poland , Austria , Belgium , France , Holland , Czechoslovakia , Hungary and the Soviet Union .


Museum encompasses the two concentration camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau). In the Auschwitz I there are several exhibitions for example: the entrance door with the motto in German Arbeit macht frei (“(Labor) frees”, guard towers, death block 11, crematorium, death wall etc. In the Auschwitz-Birkenau there are railroad tracks with ramp, huts, towers of Schutzstaffel , ruins of crematoria etc.

The Austrian exhibition

The Austrian exhibition that was inaugurated in 1978 has not been modified until today and shows Austria as a victim of National Socialism. This unilateral demonstration motivated in 1980/81 the Austrian policy scientist Andreas Maislinger to collaborate in the museum through the German organization Aktion Suehnezeichen and to found the Austrian Memory Service . The Austrian President of that time, Rudolf Kirchschlager , made Maislinger understand that he did not have to expiate at Auschwitz. It was because of this rejection of the representatives of the Austrian Republic that in 1992 the first Austrian was able to render his compulsory service in the form of the Austrian Memory Service . In 1962 they installed a protection zone around Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau to guarantee the preservation of historical condition. That area was approved by the Polish parliament in 1999. Over the years they began to build memorials and install information boards.