AUSCHWITZ I For centuries the town of Oświęcim was a quiet backwater community, largely bypassed by world events. That changed with WWII when Oświęcim, known as ‘Auschwitz’ under German occupation, became the chosen site of the largest death camp in the Third Reich. Between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people were exterminated here, etching the name of Auschwitz forever into the history books; countless films, documentaries, books and survivor accounts have since burned it into the collective consciousness, and the recent 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation on January 27th, 2015 was commemorated internationally.
The camp's official website address and opening hours: http://visit.auschwitz.org/rezerwacja/termin.html?idg=1
AUSCHWITZ II - BIRKENAU Having completed the long tour of Auschwitz I, some visitors decline the opportunity to visit Auschwitz II – Birkenau, however it’s here that the impact of Auschwitz can be fully felt through the sheer size, scope and solitude of the second camp. Added in 1942 Birkenau contained 300 barracks and buildings on a vast site that covered 175 hectares. Soon after the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, when Hitler and his henchmen rubber-stamped the wholesale extermination of European Jews, it grew to become the biggest and most savage of all the Nazi death factories, with up to 100,000 prisoners held there in 1944.
Auschwitz-Birkenau - German Nazi concentration camps, the symbol of the Holocaust. The only concentration camp, located on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The camp away 70 km from Krakow, about 1 hour. 20 min drive, sightseeing 3-4 hours.