Would you visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp?

When I mentioned the Dachau Concentration Camp in southern Germany as a place to visit a few weeks back, some readers were surprised at the idea of visiting such a place while on holiday. And I can understand that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the chance to understand important parts of history better is one reason I really love travelling, especially in Europe where there are so many historical sights.

Auschwitz Buildings

That’s why I thought I’d mention the even more distressing possibility of visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp sites in southern Poland. Auschwitz is perhaps the most well-known concentration camp – even if you slept through history lessons at school, you’ll know it from Schindler’s List – and it’s the kind of tourist attraction you’ll never forget. But be warned: you will see a lot of things you wish you hadn’t. I admit to having nightmares after my visit to Auschwitz. But ever since, when I see documentaries or read books about World War II, I certainly feel like I can understand the atrocities of the time a whole lot better.

The official site for the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum has an English version with a lot of detail on what’s there and how to visit it, and is definitely worth checking out to plan a trip. Most people arrive here on a day trip from the (contrastingly beautiful) city of Krakow. I’m definitely an advocate of visiting places like this.

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