Oświęcim, a town of 43,000, lies in Southern Poland, roughly 60 km from Kraków. The town is best known as being home to Auschwitz I, a WWII concentration camp, and its close proximity to the Auschwitz expansion camp – Auschwitz-Birkenau, an extermination/forced labor camp.
The first record of the town dates to the 10th century. Originally, Germans and Poles inhabited the town. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Jewish population of Oświęcim began to grow and in a relatively short time Jews were in the majority.
The 1 Train station is located 2km west of the historical center of the town. However, it is located closer to Auschwitz-Birkenau locations.
There is a free bus operating between the two locations of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.
Buses are frequent and cheap, if not totally reliable around the town, and particularly to the Auschwitz museum not far away.
Oświecim is easily navigated on foot, as everything is close by.
- 1 Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The generic name given to the cluster of concentration, labour and extermination camps established by the Nazis during the Second World War. The camps have become a place of pilgrimage for survivors, their families and all who wish to travel to remember the Holocaust.
- 1 Oświęcim Castle, Zamkowa 1, ☎+48 33 842 44 27.
- Jewish cemetery.
- 1 Jewish Museum and Synagogue, Plac Księdza Jana Skarbka 5, ☎+48 33 844 70 02, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr-Sept: 10:00-18:00, Oct-Mar: 10:00-17:00. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Includes a museum about the former Jewish life in Oświęcim. Jews were for 150 years the majority in this town. 10zł (reduced 6zł).