The concentration camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II–Birkenau are a different kind of must-see. The camps, which are about an hour west of Krakow, provide a grim glimpse into the past.
Over 900,000 Jews were taken to the camps here from German-occupied countries between 1942 and 1944. Political prisoners, Roma, and people of all races have all been transported here. Only around 10% of those who were brought here survived their stay.
As Soviet forces marched into Poland at the conclusion of the war, the Nazis demolished the gas chambers and crematoria before leaving. Despite the fact that they were able to damage and burn down part of the camp, many of the structures are still intact today.
Only a guided tour of the camps, which contain over 300 barracks and hundreds of other buildings and crematoriums, is available.