Auschwitz is the place where history and presence meet in a brutal way

The Polish city Oświęcim offers a strange spectacle. The reminiscences of human suffering mix with the present within sceneries which – perhaps – might be rather forgotten. The relics of the Auschwitz concentration camp are the most visited tourist destination in Poland.


Last year some 2.1 million people visited Oświęcim. During the last ten years the number of visitors has doubled. This increase led to a creation of new accommodation capacities, especially around the first concentration camp in the Auschwitz region. Before you enter the camp with a world-famous gate with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei"(work sets you free), you can watch a colourful tourist crowds, long queues of people, endless lines of buses and minibuses and a buffet with Snack Bar… (Text continues. It has 1774 words.)


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There are some 18,000 people living in the Polish city Oświęcim and another 22,000 people in close surroundings. Day after day they meet the relics of the notorious Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz - Birkenau. They live close to many ruined Nazi warehouses, prison houses and devastated incinerators. Children play next to mass grave. In the house which had been occupied by an SS troop during the Second World War there is a Catholic church today. The reminiscences of gruesome human suffering thus mix with the present within sceneries which might be better forgotten. However it is not possible as the Auschwitz – Birkenau Nazi camp which spreads on 40 square kilometers has made Oświęcim the most visited tourist destination in Poland.


We would like to offer you a reportage from the polish city Oświęcim (Auschwitz – Birkenau). The story describes how the city, which is the most visited Polish tourist destination, is affected by its tragic past. The inhabitants of Auschwitz, independent authorities and people living close to the city are cited in the article. We tried to express how the past mixes with the present on the streets of Auschwitz. We are sending you a small excerpt from the reportage and photos in the attachment. If you are interested to publish the whole text together with attractive photos, please, let us know. We will send you the full text with all photos and later we can negotiate the terms of the deal. Please, contact us by e-mail

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The Auschwitz Museum employs about two hundred people and another three hundred tourist guides show the camp to tourists. The entry is free of charge, people pay only to guides and for parking. 


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She looks from her living room straight to the heart of the first concentration camp. The house in which she was raised, was built in 1937. "First there was our army, then the Nazi occupants and now there is the Museum," she points toward the camp from her living room. Mrs. Jurczak was born in 1943.


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Auschwitz – Birkenau concentration camp will welcome first visitors in just few minutes. The camp does not hide anything from its past. It offers a view of endless lines of prison houses and chimneys, dwarfing to the sky. People are building new family houses just 50 metres from these relics, close to demolished incinerators.


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 „Ten years ago they have put a transport for Jewish prisoners to our village as a reminder of the past. We already take it as something normal. However, old people do not like to recall the tragic past, no all of them have survived. And younger people? They travel to Germany to work,“ says Ryszka Ryszard, who bought a house in Brzezinka (3,5 kilometres from Auschwitz – Birkenau) five years ago.


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