Buildings at Auschwitz main camp

Rear of Commandant's house at Auschwitz main camp

The photo above shows the Commandant's house at the main Auschwitz camp. This is the back of the house, taken from inside the camp; the front is shown in the photo below.

The front of the house where Commandant Rudolf Hoess formerly lived at Auschwitz faces the street, as shown in the 2005 photo below.

House where Commandant Rudolf Hoess once lived

To locate the Commandant's former home, turn to your left as you leave the parking lot at the Auschwitz I camp, and turn left again at the first intersection. You will see the house, shown in the photo above, a few yards down the road, on the left-hand side. It is currently occupied and not open to visitors.

Before you get to the intersection, you will first pass the Theatergebäude (Theater building) shown in the photo below. According to the Auschwitz Museum guidebook, this building was used as the "Storehouse of the Property seized from the Victims." The main camp was primarily a prison for Polish political prisoners; their property was returned to them in the event that they were released. According to the Auschwitz Museum director, there were 1,500 prisoners released from the main camp.

Theater building at Auschwitz I camp, Oct. 2005

The building shown above is located outside the former Auschwitz I camp, behind the former administration building, which is now the Visitor's Center; it faces the road that goes past the former camp. The Visitor's Center was formerly the entrance building where the incoming prisoners were processed. There were 19 delousing chambers in the entrance building, which used Zyklon-B for disinfecting the prisoners' clothing. The Zyklon-B was stored in the building shown above, which was also used as a clothing warehouse. Blocks 1, 3 and 26 inside the camp, which are not open to visitors, were also used for disinfecting the prisoners' clothing with Zyklon-B.

Gate into the yard of the old Theater building still has Catholic Cross, Oct. 2005

The building shown above was occupied by Catholic Carmelite nuns between 1984 and 1993; they were forced to move out after Jews in America protested the use of this historic building as a home for nuns. The Zyklon-B that was stored in this building was also used to gas the Jews in the Auschwitz I gas chamber located on the other side of the camp.

Former theater building used for storage by the Nazis, Oct. 2005

The photo above shows the side of the building where the nuns formerly lived. According to Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, in their book entitled "Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present," this building "had been a theater before the war. During the occupation, it functioned as a storehouse; plans to transform it into an SS casino and a centerpiece in the new Kommandantur were never carried out."

The photo below shows the back side of Block 11, which was the camp prison. In the foreground of the photo is the former gravel pit where Polish partisans were executed. On the left is the Christian Cross that was used by Pope John Paul II when he said Mass at Birkenau. The cross was put there by the nuns when they moved into the theater building, and it has never been removed.

The rear of Block 11 which stands next to the old Theater building, Oct. 2005

Gas Chamber

Introduction to Auschwitz I

Entrance to Auschwitz I

Inside the Visitor's Center

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

Back to Photo Gallery 1


This page was last updated on July 29, 2009