Old Sentry Box & Kitchen
at Auschwitz I
Old sentry box on Appellplatz
where prisoners assembled for roll call
The 1998 photograph above shows an old
sentry box that was probably there when this was a military garrison.
It stands in front of the Appellplatz or Roll Call Place, where
the prisoners had to assemble every morning and evening to be
counted. Every prisoner had to be accounted for, to make sure
that no one had escaped from the camp. When the Auschwitz I camp
was used as a Polish military garrison, the Appellplatz was the
Old sentry box and
gallows in front of brick kitchen buildings
On the right in the photo above are two
brick buildings that are part of the camp kitchen. Between the
two buildings is an opening into the courtyard in the center
of the kitchen building.
To the right, behind the sentry box,
in front of the second low brick kitchen building, you can see
the posts of a reconstructed gallows. On July 19, 1943, there
was a mass hanging of 12 Polish political prisoners here in reprisal
for the escape of 3 prisoners. The gallows was not high enough
and the victims died an agonizing death, according to my 1998
The aerial photo below shows the Auschwitz
I camp; the kitchen building, painted white, is in the first
row of buildings after you enter the Arbeit Macht Frei gate.
Aerial view of Auschwitz
I concentration camp
The photo below shows the sentry box
in the background on the left and the opening into the kitchen
courtyard. Note the chimneys for the kitchen on the left side
of the photo. The original kitchen building is now painted white,
just as it was in January 1945 when the camp was liberated by
the Soviet Army. On the right in the photo below is Block 16,
one of the barracks buildings.
Former exercise yard
was where prisoners assembled for roll call
The photo below shows the reconstructed
gallows in the foreground with two wings of the kitchen building
in the background. According to a sign in the camp in 2005, when
Polish prisoners continued to escape, their relatives were arrested
and brought to the camp as hostages. The kitchen building was
not identified when I visited in 1998.
Gallows where Polish
prisoners were hanged in 1943
According to the Auschwitz Museum web site, there are plans
to use the kitchen building as an Art Museum to show the paintings
and drawings done by the prisoners.
This page was updated on July 28, 2009