February 2013
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Poland – Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum – Part 2

Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It has a long Baltic Sea coastline. It is bordered by:
• Belarus
• Czech Republic
• Germany
• Lithuania
• Russia
• Slovakia
• Ukraine

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is a memorial and museum in Oswiecim which is in Poland. This museum includes the German concentration camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is built in the memory of the murders in both camps during World War II. The museum performs many tasks which include the research into the Holocaust. This museum was established in April 1946.

The Museum collections include:
• About 110 thousand shoes
• About 3,800 suitcases
• 2,100 of these suitcases bear the names of their owners
• Over 12 thousand kitchen utensils
• 470 prostheses and orthoses
• 350 striped camp garments
• 250 tallisim
• Over 6 thousand works of art
• About 2 thousand of which were made by prisoners

Personal Possessions
• The deepest symbolic meaning resides in the personal effects of the people.
• They were mostly Jews.
• There are thousands of items of everyday life. They include:
– kitchen utensils
– shoes
– eyeglasses
– shoe-polish containers
– brushes
– combs
– suitcases with names, birth dates, transport numbers.
– addresses have important documentary value

Camp and Prisoner Items
Another group of original items from the camp consists of:
• striped prisoner garments
• wooden clogs
• bowls
• furnishings
• other items from the blocks and barracks
They document:
– the everyday existence of the prisoners
– illustrate the phenomena of resistance and mutual aid
• They show how prisoners tried to inform the outside world about the crimes that were being committed in the camp.
• The collections also include items like:
– helmets
– boots
– there are also instruments used by the SS
– Whips
– clubs used for beating
– “goat” used during flogging
– many of the items reflect the level of detail that characterized the planning and organization of the camp bureaucracy.
These include:
– notice boards for announcements
– statistics
– record keeping
There are also items in the Museum collections that constitute evidence of the crimes.
– These were connected directly with the Holocaust.
– They include the canisters that contained the Zyklon-B used to kill people in the gas chambers.

Visiting Information

For individual visitors, we are offering a special opportunity to join others in “tours” of the Memorial.
From November 1st to March 31st the groups will be organized in Polish, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
• Polish: 11.00 a.m., 1.30 p.m. (except for 27.01.2013)
• English: 10.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 12.30 p.m., 1.20 p.m. (except for 27.01.2013)
• French: 12.30 p.m. (except for 13.11.2012, 14.11.2012 and 27.01.2013)
• German: 12.30 p.m. (except for 27.01.2013)
• Italian: 12.30 p.m. (except for 14.01, 23.01, 27.01, 09.03, 17.03, and 18.03.2013)
• Spanish: 12.30 p.m. (except for 27.01.2013)

Basic Information
Admission to the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is free of charge.
• The fees are charged for engaging a guide.
• Visitors in groups are required to engage an Auschwitz Memorial guide.
• The grounds and buildings of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps are open to visitors.
• The duration of a visit is determined solely by the individual interests and needs of the visitors.
• At least three-and-a-half hours should be reserved in minimum.
• Photography and filming on the Museum grounds for commercial purposes require prior approval by the Museum.

Opening Hours
The Museum is open all year long, seven days a week, except January 1, December 25, and Easter Sunday. The Museum is open during the following hours:
• 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM December through February
• 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM March, November
• 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM April, October
• 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM May, September
• 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM June, July, August

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country.
• The climate is oceanic in the north and west.
• It becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east.
• Summers are generally warm.
• It is with average temperatures between 18 °C (64 °F) and 30 °C (86.0 °F).
• Winters are rather cold.
• There are with average temperatures around 3 °C (37.4 °F) in the northwest and 6 °C (21 °F) in the northeast.
• Precipitation falls throughout the year.
• The warmest region in Poland is Lower Silesian that is located in south-western Poland.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get to Poland?

1. By plane
• Most of Europe’s major airlines fly to and from Poland.
• Poland’s national carriers are LOT Polish Airlines.
• There are also a number of low cost airlines that fly to Poland. These include:
– WizzAir
– EasyJet
– Germanwings
– Norwegian
– Ryanair
There are also direct flights from United States and Canada. LOT operates direct flights from:
– Toronto
– New York
– Chicago
– Non-direct flights from other cities
International airlines fly mainly to Warsaw (WAW). Other major airports in Poland are:
– Krakow
– Katowice
– Gdask
– Pozna
– Wrocaw
– Szczecin
– Rzeszow
– Bydgoszcz
A new terminal has been opened at the Warsaw Chopin airport which will significantly increase the airport’s capacity.

2. By Train
Direct connections with:
• Berlin
• Amsterdam, via Koeln, Hannover
• Kiev via Lviv
• Vienna
• Prague
• Moscow

3. By Car
You can enter Poland by one of many roads linking Poland with the neighboring countries.

4. By Bus
There are many international bus lines that connect major Polish cities.
• Voyager
• Eurolines
• Ecolines
• PolskiBus.com
• Simple Express

5. By Boat
• From Sweden
– Ystad by Unity Line
– Karlskrona by Stena Line
– Nynashamn
– Visby
– Ystad by Polferries

• From Denmark
– Copenhagen
– Bornholm

• From Finland
– Helsinki by Finnlines

• From Germany
– Rostock by Finnlines

6. By Yacht
There are more and more ports along Polish coast. Bigger marinas are located in:
– Szczecin
– Eba
– Hel
– Gdynia
– Gdask

7. By plane
– Polish national carrier LOT has daily connections.
– These are between the biggest cities with a hub in Warsaw.

8. By train
– In Poland, the national railway carriers are PKP InterCity and Przewozy Regionalne.
– There are few local carriers that belong to voivod ships or major cities.
– Train tickets are quite economical.
There are new InterCity routes such as:
• Warsaw – Katowice
• Warsaw – Krakow
• Warsaw – Pozna
• Pozna – Szczecin
Train types
• E-IC (ExpressInterCity) / EC (EuroCity) / Ex (Express)
• TLK (Twoje Linie Kolejowe)
• RE (RegioEkspress)
• IR (InterRegio)
• REGIO / Osobowy
• Podmiejski
• Narrow gauge

Some Travel Books on Poland

Poland Lonely Planet Poland Poland: A Unique Country & Its People

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at staypoland.com
Hotels at travelpoland.com

Blogs / Sites about Poland

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at tripadvisor.in
Blogs at en.auschwitz.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Poland

Images at google.com
Images at wikipedia.org
Images at bbc.co.uk
Images at tripadvisor.com

Videos of Poland

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