How to prepare for a visit in KL Auschwitz camp

A visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is a very important element of
historical education not only among children and adolescents but also among adults. This
place is a testimony to the suffering and death of thousands of people, and therefore the
visit should take place in an atmosphere appropriate to the place.

If you are planning to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, we recommend
that you get acquainted with the history of World War II at least briefly. What led to its
outbreak, or what its long-term consequences were. The next useful step is to learn about
the history of the camp, both pre-war, and the role and functions that Auschwitz played
during World War II. It is also necessary to look at the history of the Jews, who constituted
the highest percentage of victims, what could be caused by propaganda and spreading
myths, and why this camp became a symbol of the Holocaust. From the point of view of
learning about history, it will also be useful to get acquainted with the fate of war criminals
after the end of the war and the controversy about „Polish concentration camps”. To properly
prepare for the visit, you can read the free online lessons offered by the Museum, from which
you can learn about the initial history of the camp, the stories of prisoners, and most
important historical facts.

However, the sight that we see when visiting the place also has a huge emotional impact,
which not every human being can withstand. Scattered items, shoes, prisoners’ hair, rows of
barracks, block 11, and crematoria. Each of these elements witnessed how hundreds of lives
were suddenly interrupted. So let’s be prepared for the fact that this is a shocking experience
that will probably stay in your memory forever. As a result of these experiences, defence
mechanisms can be activated, which is a natural reaction of the body and it is worth being
prepared for. Therefore, it is not recommended for people under the age of 14 to visit this
place.

Also, when visiting the Museum and Memorial, one should remember about appropriate
behavior. First of all, remember that items are part of the display and can be damaged very
easily. One should navigate in places intended for sightseeing while maintaining respect and
due seriousness. During the tour, you should refrain from making phone calls, eating meals,
or smoking. It is worth remembering, especially when visiting on your own, about special
rules, such as keeping silent while visiting Block 11 – a special place of punishment, next to
which there is an execution wall and in the basement of which prisoners died of starvation.
The Museum and Memorial Site is a particularly tragic point on the map of Poland. When
visiting, keep this in mind, as well as all the people who died there.

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