Travel to Camps

Question:

I am hoping to visit the camp at Auschwitz with my mother later this year, hopefully in about three weeks.

Could you please give me any information on the opening times, can we just turn up at the camp or do we need to take a guided tour?

I was going to stay in Warsaw, is this any better for getting to the camp than Crakow? and how much of a journey is it, I would prefer to travel by train if possible.

I am sorry to give you so many questions but I have been unable to find anything which tells me how I may visit the camp itself.

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Auschwitz is about an hours drive from Krakow, the nearest major city. Although there is a hotel in the town of Auschwitz (The Globus), I don't think it is an adequate place to take your mother.

The hotels in Krakow can arrange for a guided trip to the Auschwitz camp, but be certain to plan on more than one visit if you really want to see most of the camp. It is vast. What is more, Birkenau, which is where the largest gas chambers were located, is a couple of miles away from Auschwitz proper.

If you stay in Warsaw, you will have a four or five hour drive. It is simply too far from Auschwitz. If you are in Warsaw, a city with little to recommend having been destroyed by the Nazis, you will be close to Lublin where the Majdanek camp is located. This too is a horrible place. I had a guide from the hotel drive me to the camp and back in one day.

You should try to buy the following book:

Concentration Camps: A Traveler's Guide to World War II Sites
Marc Terrance
c. 1999, Universal Publishers
ISBN 1-58112-839-8

Which can be purchased through Amazon. This book will answer all of your questions.

Good luck on your trip!

Harry W. Mazal OBE

Question:

I'm going to be in Austria/Germany next week and I'd like to visit one of the Nazi concentration camps. I found out Dachau is located outside of Munich, where is Auschwitz and Treblinka located (near what cities)? Thanks for the help.

Richard J. Green answers:

Greetings,

This answer may be too late to be of assistance, but Auschwitz is in Poland near Krakow, and Treblinka is northeast of Warsaw. As you did not mention a plan to go to Poland, I suspect you'll have to see these camps on another trip.

Best,

Rich Green

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