World Heritage #0031 – Auschwitz Birkenau

Last modified 30.10.2022 | Published 15.07.2010North and Central Europe, Poland, World Heritage Sites

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There are only horrors connected to the heritage site of Auschwitz Birkenau, the horrors of exterminating more than 1.5 million people.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name of site: Auschwitz Birkenau – German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)
  • Country: Poland
  • Date of Inscription: 1979
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 31:

“The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of humanity’s cruelty to its fellow human beings in the 20th century.”

My visit

I had a day in these camps at Auschwitz Birkenau in 2010 on a guided tour. Horrible. That is all I can say. See if you can get some sense out of my video below. It contains images and moving video shots from both camps.

The video cover with the famous gate is from Auschwitz. The words translates into “Work sets you free” in English. The Nazis built it as a concentration and labour camp. In comparison, Birkenau a few kilometres apart was an extermination camp. 

Read more about my visit.

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