Inside the Auschwitz I Visitor's Center

Holocaust art displayed inside Visitor's Center at Auschwitz in 1998

The only tourist entrance to the former Auschwitz main concentration camp is through the Visitor's Center in the red brick administration building, the same building where prisoners were registered at the camp more than sixty years ago. The inside of the building has been remodeled so that visitors are routed through a hallway which takes them past cafe tables and a small store, where one can purchase a guide book or film, to an art exhibit area and the entrance to the movie theater.

The photo above, taken in 1998, shows a sculpture on display near the exit door to the former camp; when I visited again in 2005, the walls in this room were painted white, as the photo below shows.

Same statue shown in 2005 photo

The green arrow on the wall in the photo above points to the door to the outside, where visitors exit from the Visitor's Center to begin their tour of the Auschwitz main camp.

The pictures below show the hallway and exhibit area in the Visitor's Center, taken in 1998. The first photo below shows Polish students, who seemed to be well versed in the history of Auschwitz, examining a map of the camp. The large letter i over the door in the background indicates that tourist information is available.

Entrance hallway at Auschwitz I Visitor's Center in 1998

The photo below shows some of the Holocaust artwork which lined the walls in the Visitor's Center in 1998, including a photograph of a real heart (hopefully an animal heart) with a Jewish yellow star pinned to it with a safety pin. When I visited again in October 2005, this artwork was no longer there and there were old black and white photos on the walls.

Artwork formerly on display in 1998

A 15-minute movie, taken by the Soviet Union in early February 1945, is shown every half hour in the visitor's center. A movie ticket cost 3.50 zloty in 2005, although there was no charge to enter the former concentration camp. The English version of the film was shown at 11 a.m. Tour groups already have their tickets in advance and do not have to wait in line at the cashier's window.

Exit from the Visitor's Center

Entrance through "Arbeit Macht Frei" Gate

Auschwitz Museum Exhibits

Swimming Pool

Block 11 - the camp prison

Prison Cells Inside Block 11

Standing Cells in Block 11

The Black Wall

Kitchen & other buildings in Auschwitz I

Barracks Buildings in Auschwitz 1

Old Sentry Box and camp kitchen

Commandant's house & old theater

Gas Chamber

Introduction to Auschwitz I

Entrance to Visitor's Center

Back to Photo Gallery 1