As soon as the defeat of the September Campaign of 1939, when Polish soldiers had attemptedto repel the German invasion, the town of Oswiecim and the surrounding areas were incorporated within the Third Reich. At the same time its name was changed to Auschwitz. By the end of 1939, in the SS and Police Headquarters in Wroclaw (Braslau), thinking about setting up a concentration camp had been recently proposed. The official justification just for this plan scaled like the overcrowding with the existing prisons in Silesia, and so on the necessity of conducting further waves of mass arrest one of the Polish inhabitants both of Silesia along with the rest of German-occupied Poland.

Several special committees were convened, whose task it was to consider one of the most favorable place for this type of camp. The greatest choice fell upon the deserted pre-war Polish barracks in Oswiecim. Situated far out of the built up area of the town, they could very easily be expanded and isolated from the outside world. Another factor not without significance was the convenient position of Oswiecim - an import and railway junction - inside the existing communications network.

The order to proceed with offers to found a camp was presented with in April 1940, and Rudolf Hoss was appointed its first commandant. On June 14, 1940, the Gestapo dispatched the first political prisoners to KL Auschwitz - 728 Poles from Tarnow. Initially the camping ground comprised 20 buildings - 14 at ground level and 6 having an upper floor. In the period from 1941 to 1942 a supplementary story was added to all ground-floor buildings and 8 new blocks were constructed, while using the prisoners because labor pool. Altogether the camping ground now contained 28 one-story buildings ( excluding kitchens, storehouses etc. ) The typical amount of prisoners fluctuated between 13-16.000, reaching at one stage ( during 1942 ) a record total of 20.000 people. They were accommodated in the blocks, where perhaps the cellares and lofts had been for this reason.



As the quantity of inmates increased, the location covered by the camp also, grew, until it was transformed into a big and horrific factory of death. The monstrosity in Oswiecim - KL Auschwitz I - took over as the parent or "Stammlager" with a whole generation of the latest camps. In 1941 the building of another camp, later called Auschwitz II-Birkenau, was commenced in the village of Brzezinka 3 kilometers away and in 1942 the camping ground in Monowice near Oswiecim-KL Auschwitz III-was established for the territory of the German chemical plant IG-Farbenindustrie. Furthermore, in the years 1942-1944, about 40 smaller branches in the Auschwitz complex occurred these fell within the jurisdiction of KL Auschwitz III and were situated mainly around steelworks, mines and factories, where prisoners were exploited as cheap labour.

The camping ground in Oswiecim ( KL Auschwitz I) along with Brzezinka (KL Auschwitz II - Birkenau) are now maintained as museums open to the population. The key constructions and objects in Birkenau are the remnants of 4 crematoria, gas chambers and cremation pits and pyres, the special unloading platform were the deportees were selected as well as a pond with human ashes. In Auschwitz such a construction could be the "Death block."

Furthermore both in camps are preserved blocks and a portion of prisoners barracks, the main entrance gates towards the camps, sentry watch towers in addition to barbed wire fences. A number of the constructions destroyed from the Nazis were rebuilt from the original elements - as an example the ovens inside the crematorium I. Some objects were completely destroyed through the SS obliterating the traces of their crimes. In the installments of special importance the constructions were reproduced through the museum and put into the identical area while they were in the existence of the Auschwitz camp. First and foremost these are the "Death wall" as well as the collective gallows in the role-call ground.

The prison blocks within the camp at Auschwitz contain exhibitions portraying the historical past of Auschwitz or tracing the torments of the several nations whose individuals were murdered here. Above the main gate at Auschwitz - whereby the prisoners passed daily on their way to operate (returning 12 hours or even more later) there is a cynical inscription: "Arbeit macht frei" (Work brings freedom). and also on the tiny square from the kitchen the camping ground orchestra would play marsches, mustering the a huge number of prisoners so they really might be counted more efficiently with the SS.

That's a short information about a camp along with what you will expect when you're there.

Salt Mine in Wieliczka is a second part tours in a single day.

Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow remembers the changing times from the Dark ages. It among the world's oldest salt mine in the world. Here is the only mining facility on earth functioning continuously since Old to the, allowing the evolution of mining technology in numerous historical periods. Wieliczka Salt Mine is around 300 km of excavation on 9 levels, the initial ones - how much Bono - would go to a depth of 64 meters, even though the latter lies 327 meters below the surface. Total period of sidewalks, connecting about 3000 excavation (sidewalks, ramps, service chambers, lakes, wells, shafts), exceeds 300 km. The tourist route is 3 km, contains 20 chambers at depths from 64 to 135 meters.

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