Category: World War II Sites

Category: World War II Sites

Chapter 3 – Auschwitz, Krakow & a few beers

This post is part of a series of posts following the adventures of a man on a mission to explore 20 countries around Europe on a motorcycle – go to One for the road.

Chapter 3

High clouds are clearing a late afternoon sun as supper, meatballs, with chips and salad and a Zywiec beer, is taken alone at a long table in a refectory full of many long tables, all adorned with Easter bunnies and other oddments of Christianity. I’ve noticed today the daffodils and yellow tulips and the cemeteries all inundated by new, fresh, brightly coloured flowers.

Across the hall, a family of indeterminate nationality eat their supper, and when they’ve finished they get up and every one of them turns to mouth ‘bye’ to me. It is the youngest girl who pauses to push in the last chair beneath the table before scampering after the others. I can safely presume which nationality they are not.



Up in my room, I look out of the window.  In the dusk, beyond the garden, the road, the land around the SS building, are the headlights of cars driving along the road by the railway line that transported so much immeasurable and unimaginable suffering to many hundreds of thousands of people, and the disbelief is . . . total. Incomprehension, that that is the very same road as can be seen in all the wartime photographs, and the railway which I have been following.  This building is sponsored by the Catholic Church, but I can’t help but feel that salvation for the inmates of KL Auschwitz didn’t come via the Almighty, who had ignored it for the previous four years, but via the men of the Red Army.


When I reach Krakow, I go straight to the Saski, an elegant old place near the centre with a uniformed doorman and an iron and brass lift and many carpeted corridors along to my room on the top floor. Here, my tiny balcony overlooks a mosaic of lawns and yards, lifeless except for a weeping willow which trails threads of bright new green life down to the sodden ground.

There is no towel, and afterwards, as I stand on the balcony with the chill April air raising bumps on my still-damp skin, there comes a heavy sprinkle of cold water. I look up to see a pigeon preening herself on a trembling branch just above me.

Medieval market square

Every country has its own ‘must-see’ landmarks, and few people walking into Krakow’s medieval market square, the largest such square in Europe, can resist a “Wow!” when they first see the dreamlike setting for the many historic styles of architecture bordering the square.

As I reach the end of the road the market square opens out before me and I mouth a silent, “Wow” – wow because it’s a stunning picture, but silent because I’ve seen it before and I don’t want to do what I did last time, which was to walk into a lamp post as I gazed around.

Cloth Hall

Cloth Hall

In the middle is the old Cloth Hall, with the two towering spires of St Mary’s church to the left. Straight ahead is the Town Hall tower, while over there is the Church of St. Adalbert, whose foundations are a thousand years old. I stroll a full circuit of the trafficless square, rustling with the murmur of hundreds of tourists going about their lattes and beers.


Tourism is Krakow’s main industry, as seven million local and international visitors come here annually, the Poles (the great majority) to admire with pride, the Germans, Scandinavians and Japanese to say, “Wow” at the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, the Americans to head straight for the Jewish Quarter, and the Brits to make it their Stag Party Destination of Choice, so that they can hold drinking competitions in which the winner is the first to throw up, and athletic competitions in which the stark naked winner runs a complete circuit of the square the fastest, in front of hundreds of international tourists having their supper and admiring the tranquillity of an evening in what was the European Capital of Culture in 2000.

I make my way to my old café, the ancient Camelot, with its rickety pine furniture and floor and flyblown wartime posters advertising beer and theatres. Keneally in his Schindler’s Ark describes how Schindler’s secretary found a basement bar north of the square where he could hold private parties; ‘an excellent jazz cellar in the narrow streets north of the rynek, the city square . . . popular with the students and younger staff at the university’, and I reckon this it.

It’s down a side street, with the 800-year old Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist across the road, its related buildings all around from the Eighteenth Century. I find a seat at a small corner table, and settle in to watch the world go by.

Wawel Royal Hill, Krakow

Matchlessly beautiful

You’d think that ‘matchlessly beautiful’ is a sweeping statement to make about a city which is bigger than Glasgow, boasts a vast, scratch-built socialist realist district, a steelworks which when it employed 40,000 people was the largest blast furnace in Europe and whose pollution forty years later is still adversely affecting old Krakow’s buildings and people; and is now Poland’s most important economic centre after the capital.

But you don’t get to be cited as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities for nothing, and while Gdansk, Warsaw, Poznan and Wroclaw all had their ‘old town centres’ rebuilt after the war, in Krakow you get the unmistakably real thing. There seems to be some mystery surrounding exactly how it escaped the same fate as Warsaw, which as everyone knows was flattened in 1945.

Apparently, demolition charges had been laid everywhere but the local Wehrmacht commander simply ignored his orders and went home to his wife, a decision of unimaginable consequence, since the architectural design of the Old Town has survived every upheaval since medieval times, and its almost unparalleled heritage of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings – Krakow, for centuries Poland’s royal capital, boasts six thousand historic sites – is home to more than two million works of art.

Jagiellonian University

I am sitting within metres of a dozen stunning twenty-something girls, which shouldn’t come as any surprise, since more than 200,000 students are studying here in Krakow’s twenty-four colleges, and at the Jagiellonian University (founded in 1364), with its library of more than 4 million books, and Poland is as famous for its young ladies as it is for its, er, libraries.

I tell the waiter that I’ll have three beers while I study the menu; he misunderstands the situation and brings three sets of cutlery with the beers, while I listen to a conversation going on at the table to my left. A young British man has just started work here as an English teacher, which is a coincidence because I have an interview tomorrow morning not just for the same qualification but at the same school, and his parents have come all the way from Watford to congratulate him on his achieving his Cambridge Certificate of English Teaching. Mark is a football fanatic, and worries them with talk of knives, gangs, the eight deaths (eight?) after a recent game, but that “everyone came together at the Pope’s anniversary, so don’t worry.”


“Kasia’s name has eight different endings, depending on the context,” he tells his parents, Kasia being the anorexic teenager sitting beside him, with her huge eyes and pasted makeup, miniscule bra-less breasts, and jeans that are slung so low that occasionally they show her topmost pubes.

Breakfast the next morning is in a McDonald’s. There are fourteen others here, three of whom are in animated argument over a newspaper article, five individuals are studying, and one is reading a novel. None is as old as 30, and this is eight o’clock on a Saturday morning. None of my British friends – the youngest of whom is 28, with most in their 40s – will be up for another three hours. The restaurant itself is immaculate, and every single person clears their table when they leave.

The buds are growing visibly every day.  The trees which were black four days ago are now sprinkled with emerald.

I go to a pub recommended by the school. The Stary Port is a basement bar just round the corner, a labyrinth of connected smokey dark rooms. At the table opposite me is a young couple. The boy’s face has deep parenthesises drawn down around his mouth, his skin has suffered bad acne, and a scrubby blond beard doesn’t quite cover it.  His eyes, deep set and brilliant blue, are the only kind of eyes that could be set in such a serious and cadaverous face. His greasy blond hair is long, and he draws strongly on his cigarette.

Whatever is troubling him has his girlfriend’s sympathy, and they both sit, watching the candles and the darkness.  He could have stepped straight into the uniform of a U-boat captain after a long and hazardous mission.  However how important his problems were or were not, he wasn’t putting anything on.  He is about 25 years old.  His girlfriend brings two beers and a plate of chips. He stares and sucks on his cigarette and says nothing.

I conclude that he too has just been accepted at the language school.

A podgy young man returns from the loo, slides forward, his face on his forearms and his long hair falls across the table.  I have already read the slogan on his T-shirt:  FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

Europe on a motorcycle

The next morning, I wake to an ash-blue sky, with the bells of sweet, ancient Krakow tolling the first Mass, and begin to pack the panniers.

Go to Chapter 4

Motorcycle Rental

Chapter 2 – Must wash the socks

This post is part of a series of posts following the adventures of a man on a mission to explore 20 countries around Europe on a motorcycle – go to One for the road.

Chapter 2

I stop for a break at a petrol station, and stand beside the bike, sipping coffee and watching motorcycles and cars and lorries roar along the Czech highway. A dog barks in the field behind the trees, while above, very high cloud the colour of sour milk hides the sun. It’s muggy for April. The reality slowly surfaces, and at last I smile.

I am doing what I’ve wanted to do all my adult life.

Europe on a motorcycle


The miles and hours of high white cloud have suddenly been swept away, leaving behind a glorious, sunny afternoon. It’s not quite sleeping-out weather yet, though, so after trundling round the pretty little town of Svitavy in a futile search for a cheap pension I book into a hotel just outside town: £30 for a double room, bathroom, TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, breakfast, air conditioning etc. The view is leftover snowdrifts in the car park and some trees that bring to mind the words ‘acid’ and ‘rain’. Still in a bit of a daze from the hours of noise and wind, I look out at it, thinking, Socks. Must wash the socks.

Oskar Schindler Factory

Oskar Schindler

Well, Oskar Schindler might’ve found Moravia pretty, but it hasn’t been what I would call outstanding, although it’s pretty if you’re from Norfolk or Belgium – indeed, positively mountainous if you come from Holland.

Svitavy was where Schindler grew up in the 1930s, before he went into Poland, where he chose the beautiful Krakow as a base in which to establish a business that would, commercially, go nowhere, but would save the lives of more than a thousand human beings, putting Krakow, the Holocaust and Ran Feinnes and Liam Neeson on the map forever. It was strange, last night, to stroll along the main street and picture the teenaged Oskar roaring up and down the cobbles on his motorcycle.

I think my left heel is beginning to rot. Not only are the holes in the sole getting deeper, but this morning, despite hot water and soap last night, I’m sure I smelt Feet.


Brno (confusingly pronounced ‘Brno’) is sprawling and ugly. The roads are bad and acid rain has killed or damaged most of the trees on the many hills that surround the city. There have been lots of hares and deer in the fields on both sides all morning, and I remember eight deer lying down in the middle of a huge field beside a German motorway yesterday morning.



Slovakia. On the motorway to Zilina, thousands of dead trees stand in deep water for miles. The road surface is still poor, but there’s a fast-emerging middle class in Czech and Slovakia – smart cars are everywhere.


Despite several circuits of Bratislava I can’t break into the centre, where my bed in The Gremlin hostel is waiting for me.  Whole streets are being dug up, and others one way or for trams only. When I notice a group of gypsies lurking in a doorway staring at me as I go by for the fourth time, I know I’m not going to leave the bike unattended even while checking accommodation, never mind overnight. So I do the best thing to do in these circumstances: I give up.



I point the front wheel at a sign that says, Zilina 189KM, and settle into the saddle for a three-hour ride. It stops raining, and I smile before nearly jumping out of my skin when a few hundred metres away a Boeing 737 roars up above the rooftops and immediately disappears into the cloud.

It begins to rain again.



The motorway road surface is excellent now, from which I watch as a number of great castles appear on hillsides to left and right, in this ancient landscape scattered, for some reason, with lots of huge signs, amidst some very evident poverty, inviting us to vote for Rowan Atkinson. Is Mr Bean coming to town?

That’s my man!

I stop for petrol, and then smoke a cigarette while stamping my feet and rubbing my hands together. The back door of a nearby parked car opens and a teenaged girl springs out. She’s pretty, very slim and heading straight for me.

“Hello!” she gushes.

“Hello,” I say, taking two steps backwards.

“You are okay?” she asks in a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed way.

“Er, yes, thank you.”

“You are looking for some place to stay?”

So that’s it. Young prostitute, sent across by her pimp to get trade.

“Well, I am, but I’ll be all right. Thank you.”

She is possessed of an energy that would light up a Christmas tree. She’s also very young, possibly no older than sixteen. She gestures towards the car. “My father would like to buy you a drink.”

Ha! Yeah, I bet he would.

“Your father?”

“Yes. Would you like to meet my father?” She’s wearing tight jeans and a thin, cheap windcheater over a tee-shirt beneath which there is very clearly no bra. Trainers. No make-up. Then the driver’s door of the car opens and a thick-set man of about 45 heaves himself out. Here we go. I drop the cigarette and stand on it as the man, unshaven and dressed in bulky, dark old clothing, approaches.

He speaks rapidly and brusquely to the girl, who answers while gesturing at me. He glares at me as he waits for the translation and my answer. I begin to feel annoyance rising in me, and reach for my crash helmet. Hear what she has to say and then move on.

Czech beer

“My father says that if you follow us to our hotel, he will buy you a beer.” Her English is very good indeed. All those German businessmen, I expect. Lots of practise.

“Your ‘hotel’, eh?” The ‘father’ is staring intently at me.

“Yes. My family is booked into a hotel not far from here.”

I almost sneer. “Your family, eh?”

“My father and mother and my baby brother.” And she points towards the car, where a middle-aged woman and a five-year old boy are smiling and waving through the windows.

Three hours later, I lie in bed in a roadside motel and wonder about Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. The gorgeous Jana spent the whole of supper translating for her parents and me as we chatted in the restaurant downstairs. Her father spent much of the time warning me of gypsies in all eastern European countries. When I asked why he’d invited me for supper, she replied, “Because my father hasn’t had a drink for three months.”

“Maybe I was waiting for a friend.”

“No, he knew you were alone. As soon as he saw you he told my mother, ‘That’s my man!’”


Outside, the traffic swishes by on the wet road, while the lonely hills sleep on the horizon.

The clouds are more broken and fast-moving than they were yesterday, so there’s hope for a little sun today.  I’ll turn right before the Czech border, to see if the railway at Skalite is the right one. The track heading north out of Zilina looked a bit mainline.


Snow and litter lie everywhere on the verges, strips and sheets of plastic hang or flap in the reeds, a fridge has been thrown down a slope; heavy rain which the sun tries to get through and my first stork gazes out from its enormous nest atop a telegraph pole. Four or five mongrels in a car park queue up to gang-bang a mongrel bitch wearing an expression recognisable as a look of ‘here we go again’ resignation.

Did the railway line branch off for Skalite? Or go north? It keeps coming and going across the road, which begins to climb, and it gets colder. Everywhere looks poor, with children waving sticks and streamers providing the first clue that this is Easter Sunday, along with crowds of people coming out of churches wearing their Sunday best. Very few cars in evidence, and snow is everywhere now. We go over the top, and occasional glimpses of the railway appear to the right, and then the road deteriorates badly and the railway line heads off into the forest on the left, and quite unexpectedly we come to the border crossing. It is absolutely brand new and totally deserted, a quite fantastic waste of money. Then we’re in among houses and cottages, separated by rickety old wooden fences, where chickens scratch and peck.

Country folk

The tarmac disappears and we’re onto cobbles. Here and there, folk are doing this and that, as country folk tend to, every single one of whom looks up at me as I go by – then I understand that the snows would have cut off these roads for the entire winter, for the last five months or so. I am possibly the first motorcycle to come through here this year.


I get lost in the small town of Zywiec (home of one of Poland’s most famous beers; a bit like getting lost in Guinness, Ireland, or Budweiser, USA), and I’m just sitting on the bike, examining the map, when a voice says, “May I help you?” I look up. A man in his twenties, dressed as if to play the part of a young Cambridge don in a BBC mini-series, is smiling at me through John Lenin spectacles.

I tell him what I’m looking for.

“It’s sixty kilometres – about forty of those English miles of yours.”

The railway line comes back, but the potholes are so bad my fingers become completely numb, with vibration white finger. We enter a small town, I see signs I’m looking for and follow them, turn right into a complex and stop.  A young man comes up and begins to write a ticket. Beyond him I can see faceless windows, watchtowers and barbed wire fences. It’s not a parking ticket for a traffic violation I’m getting, it’s a parking ticket for a museum.


What the Germans would’ve called Koncentrazionlager 1.

What the rest of the world knows as Auschwitz.

Go to Chapter 3

Motorcycle Rental

Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region


Miedzyrzecz – updated 15 January 2023.

The Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region (MRR) was a fortified area built by the Germans in occupied Poland during World War II. It was located in the present-day western part of Poland, east of the city of Poznan and was part of the larger system of fortifications known as the “Reinforced Region East” (RRE). The MRR was designed to protect against a possible Soviet invasion of Germany and to control the population in the area.



The MRR was made up of a network of bunkers, trenches, and other fortifications, as well as anti-tank ditches and minefields. The fortifications were built using forced labor, mostly by prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates. The MRR was never completed and it was never put to the test during the war. After the war, the fortifications were dismantled and the area was returned to civilian use. Today, some of the fortifications still exist, and some have been turned into museums or other tourist attractions.

Dragon teeth

Built by Nazi Germany with the purpose of protecting the most vital section of the eastern border of Germany, Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region was a line of 106 reinforced concrete bunkers with 25cm thick walls, steel domes and concrete antitank barriers called “dragon teeth”.

Underground tunnels

21 of the concrete bunkers were connected by a 30 km network of 40m deep underground tunnels containing railway stations, war rooms, workshops, engine rooms, stockrooms and barracks. The whole network of bunkers and underground system of the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region were fitted with essential equipment such as lighting, ventilation, plumbing, sewage disposal and communications.


30,000 bats

Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region remains one of the largest and the most interesting systems of this type in the world today. It is also one of the largest hibernation sites for bats in Europe. Each year over 30,000 of them winter here representing 13 different species.

Museum & routes

Today, the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region is partially open to the public. Visitors can visit the museum and also choose from five different routes with various levels of difficulty, lengths and duration.


Short Route – This is the shortest of the routes available to tourists. The duration of the trip is 1.5 hours, while the length of the entire route is approximately 1500 meters.

Long Route – The duration of the trip is 2.5 hours, while the length of the entire route is approximately 2,500 meters.

Extreme Route – Depending on the variant, they take up to 3 hours, 6 hours or the longest up to 8 hours of underground hiking.

Surface Route – The option is ideal for people who want less physical effort or do not want to visit the underground routes.


Detailed information about the routes and prices can be found on the official MRU website


Q: When was the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region (MRR) built?
A: The MRR was built by the Germans during World War II, it was part of the larger system of fortifications known as the “Reinforced Region East” (RRE)

Q: Where is the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region located?
A: The MRR is located in the present-day western part of Poland, east of the city of Poznan.

Q: Who built the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region?
A: The MRR was built by the Germans during World War II, using forced labor, mostly by prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates.

Q: What was the purpose of building the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region?
A: The MRR was designed to protect against a possible Soviet invasion of Germany and to control the population in the area.

Q: Was the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region completed?
A: The MRR was never completed, it was part of the larger system of fortifications called the “Reinforced Region East” (RRE) which was never finished.

Q: Is the Miedzyrzecz Reinforced Region open to the public?
A: Some of the fortifications still exist, and some have been turned into museums or other tourist attractions. Visitors can tour the remains of the fortifications and learn about their history and the role they played during World War II.

Tours & Attractions

Camp Łambinowice


Łambinowice – updated 13 January 2023.

Camp Łambinowice, also known as Zwangsarbeitslager Lambinowice, was a Nazi German concentration camp located in the village of Łambinowice in Lower Silesia, Poland. The camp was established in 1941, during World War II, as a subcamp of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp.


Auschwitz and Dachau

The camp was primarily used for the imprisonment and forced labor of Polish political prisoners and Jews. Many of the prisoners were brought from other camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau. Many were also Polish resistance fighters, priests, and intellectuals.

Inhumane conditions

Prisoners were subjected to inhumane conditions, including overcrowding, starvation, disease, and abuse. Many prisoners were forced to work in the nearby coal mines, and the work was extremely dangerous and grueling. Thousands of prisoners died at the camp due to the harsh conditions and mistreatment.

Gas chamber

The camp also had a section known as “Vernichtungslager” (extermination camp), where prisoners were killed in a gas chamber.

Invasion of Poland

Throughout the war, more than 300,000 Allied and Soviet prisoners passed through the gates of the camp at Łambinowice. The base camp was given the designation Stalag VIII-B (later to become Stalag 344).

In 1941 a separate camp, Stalag VIII-F was set up close by to house the Soviet prisoners.

Warsaw Rising

In October 1944 soldiers and officers were brought to Łambinowice from the Warsaw Rising, including over 1,000 women. Later, most of the prisoners were transferred to other camps.

Red Army

In January 1945, as the Soviet army approached, the Germans began to evacuate the camp, forcing the prisoners on a death march westward. Many prisoners did not survive the march, and those who did were liberated by the Soviet army in April of that year.

After the Soviet takeover of the area, on 17th March 1945 the Red Army took the camp over and continued to operate it, this time the institution housed German prisoners of war.


Transit camp

A transit camp, run by the Ministry of Internal Security and commanded by Czesław Gęborski (later put on trial for crimes against humanity for his actions in the camp), was also created nearby, serving as an internment, labour and resettlement camp for German Silesians, as a “verification” point for Silesians, as well as a camp for former veterans of the Anders' Polish II Corps, whom the new communist authorities of Poland saw as dangerous. Out of 8000 internees, it is estimated that between 1000 and 1,500 German civilians died in the camp, mostly by typhus and maltreatment from camp officials. More than 1,130 names are listed in the cemetery.

Łambinowice Museum

After the war, the camp was closed, and the remaining prisoners were freed. Today, the site is a memorial to the victims of the camp, with a museum and a monument dedicated to the memory of the prisoners who suffered and died there.

It is important to remember that the Holocaust was a systematic extermination of millions of Jews, Romani, disabled people and other targeted groups, by the Nazi regime and its collaborators, Camp Łambinowice was one of the many concentration camps that existed during WWII, where atrocities took place.

KL Stutthof

KL Stutthof, Sztutowo

Stutthof – updated 15 January 2023.

KL Stutthof was a Nazi German concentration camp established in a secluded, marshy area near the small town of Sztutowo (German: Stutthof) 34 km (21 mi) east of the city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig.

The camp was set up in September 1939, shortly after the start of World War II. It was the first camp outside German borders and the first concentration camp set up by the SS on Polish soil. The camp was in operation until May 9, 1945, and during this time, an estimated 110,000 people were sent there; 65,000 of whom died.

The majority of those who died were Polish, but there were also prisoners of other nationalities including Soviet, Jewish, Czech, Dutch, and Belgian.


Invasion of Poland

The camp was established directly after the invasion of Poland and was initially designated as a civilian internment camp prior to becoming a labour education camp in November 1941 and finally a regular concentration camp in January 1942.


Before the war even began, the German Selbstschutz (ethnic-German self-protection units) had created lists of people that were to be arrested and detained. The Nazi authorities had also secretly started to review suitable locations to establish concentration camps in the area.



Stutthof was the last camp liberated by the Allies on 9th May 1945 and it is estimated that between 63,000 and 65,000 prisoners of the camp and its subcamps died as a result of execution, hunger, disease, extreme labour conditions, and a lack of medical attention. As many as 28,000 of those who died were Jews. Other inmates of Stutthof included citizens from 28 different countries.


The conditions in Stutthof were incredibly harsh, those who were not gassed, shot, clubbed to death, drowned in mud or given a lethal injection of phenol could just as easily die during one of the two typhus epidemics that swept through the camp.


New camp

Initially the camp consisted of eight barracks to house the prisoners in addition to buildings for the SS guards and was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Stutthof was enlarged in 1943 with a new camp constructed alongside the earlier one containing thirty new barracks, a crematorium and a gas chamber, all surrounded by an electrified barbed-wire fence. Stutthof was included in the “Final Solution” in June 1944 and mass executions began assisted by mobile gas wagons to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber.


Many prisoners were used as forced labourers working in an armaments factory located inside the camp next to the prisoner barracks or in a Focke-Wulf aircraft factory, which was constructed nearby.

Camp plan


The evacuation of 50,000 prisoners from the Stutthof camp and subcamps began on 25th January 1945. Thousands died marching in severe winter conditions combined with brutal treatment by SS guards. Around 5,000 were marched to the Baltic Sea coast, forced into the water, and machine-gunned. It has been estimated that around half of the evacuated prisoners, over 25,000, died during the evacuation from Stutthof and its subcamps.

The camp itself was liberated by Soviet forces on 9th May 1945, rescuing about 100 prisoners who had managed to hide.


Today, there is a museum at Stutthof. During a tour of the camp, you can see a narrow gauge railway line that runs around the camp, the camp commandant’s villa, kennels, the main entry to Stutthof concentration camp, better known as the 'Death Gate', guard towers, barracks, gas chamber, crematorium, the original dual-layer barbed-wire fence and various exhibitions.


Q: When was the established?
A: Stutthof was established in September 2, 1939, after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Q: Where is Stutthof located?
A: The camp is located in a secluded, marshy area near the small town of Sztutowo (German: Stutthof) 34 km (21 mi) east of the city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig.

Q: Who operated KL Stutthof?
A: It was operated by the SS (Schutzstaffel) from the time of its inception until the end of the war.

Q: How many people were killed at KL Stutthof?
A: An estimated 65,000 people were killed at Stutthof, including around 28,000 Jews, as well as Polish intelligentsia, Soviet and other prisoners of war.

Q: When was the camp liberated?
A: Stutthof was liberated by Soviet forces on May 9, 1945, near the end of World War II.

Q: Is KL Stutthof open to the public?
A: Yes, the camp is open to the public as a museum and memorial site. Visitors can tour the camp and learn about the history of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed at KL Stutthof.

KL Stutthof Tours & Experiences


Battle of Westerplatte

Westerplatte – updated 15 January 2023,

Westerplatte is a peninsula in the city of Gdańsk, Poland. It is significant because it was the site of the first battle of World War II, on September 1, 1939. A small detachment of Polish soldiers, numbering around 180, defended the peninsula against the German invasion for seven days, before being overwhelmed. The battle is considered a symbol of heroism and sacrifice for Poland. Today, the site is home to a museum and monument dedicated to the memory of the battle and the soldiers who fought there.



During the aftermath of World War I and the reestablishment of Polish independence, much of the region surrounding Gdańsk became a part of the Second Polish Republic with the exception of Gdańsk itself, which became an independent city state.

Free city

At the time, Gdańsk was known as Danzig and was a historically important port city, which had a majority German population. The independent city state became known as the Free City of Danzig, which was nominally administered by the League of Nations but in reality, it became increasingly allied with Germany.


League of Nations

In 1921, the League of Nations granted Poland the right to establish a garrison and ammunition depot close to the Free City. Despite some objections from the Free City, the depot was completed in November 1925 and became operational in January 1926. Westerplatte was the chosen location due to its separation from the port of the Free City by the harbour channel.

Permission to establish the garrison by the League of Nations came with a couple of caveats, namely: the garrison’s size could not exceed 88 soldiers and fortifications could not be constructed.


Marine battalion

The establishment of the garrison and depot was always going to act as a tinderbox in the region with the Polish held part of the Westerplatte only separated from the territory of Danzig by a brick wall and relations became further inflamed on 6th March 1933 when the Polish government decided to land a marine battalion at Westerplatte briefly strengthening the garrison there to 200 soldiers.

The purpose of this was purely political in response to recent comments by German politicians about border adjustment and disagreement about management and control over harbour police.

The extra marines were withdrawn on 16th March after protests from the League of Nations, the Free City and Germany and some concessions were made in regard to control over the harbour police.


Over the following years, Poland disrespected the second caveat for establishing a garrison at Westerplatte by constructing some fortifications in the surrounding area. These were not very impressive defences, just five small concrete outposts, trenches, barricades and reinforced buildings. This all led to rising tensions between Poland and Germany and in the spring of 1939, the garrison at Westerplatte was placed on alert.

Invasion of Poland

Germany began its invasion of Poland by dropping bombs on the city of Wieluń in central Poland. Just a few minutes later, the battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison at Westerplatte. A land battle around the garrison followed between Polish defenders and German Marines.


The Polish repelled two assaults that day using just small arms, mortar and machine-gun fire and over the next few days, they were subjected to multiple bombing raids from Junkers Ju 87 Stukas and shelling from naval and field artillery positions. Eventually on 7th September, the Polish soldiers had no choice but to surrender.


Today at Westerplatte, visitors can see the ruins of barracks and guardhouses; one of which has been turned into a museum. A Monument to the garrison defenders was unveiled in 1966.


Q: What is Westerplatte?
A: It is a peninsula in the city of Gdańsk, Poland.

Q: Why is Westerplatte significant?
A: Westerplatte is significant because it was the site of the first battle of World War II, on September 1, 1939.

Q: What happened at Westerplatte?
A: On September 1, 1939, a small detachment of Polish soldiers, numbering around 180, defended the peninsula against the German invasion for seven days, before being overwhelmed.

Q: Is there a museum at Westerplatte?
A: Yes, there is a museum dedicated to the memory of the battle of Westerplatte and the soldiers who fought there.

Q: Is Westerplatte open to visitors?
A: Yes, it is open to visitors and is a popular tourist destination.

Tours & Experiences

Riese Complex

Project Riese

Riese Complex – updated 15 January 2023.

Project Riese (German for “Giant”) was a construction project undertaken by Nazi Germany during World War II in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland. The exact purpose of the project is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers and military command centers. The project was named after the German word for “giant” because of the large scale of the construction.



The project was begun in 1943 and was never completed, as it was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end. The construction was carried out by prisoners of war and forced laborers, many of whom died during the course of the project.


There are many theories about the true purpose of Project Riese, some suggest that it was intended as an underground military command center, while others believe it was to be a factory for the production of advanced weapons or a research facility for developing new technologies. Some even suggest that it was intended as a secret underground city or a bunker for high-ranking Nazi officials. However, none of these theories has been conclusively proven, and the true purpose of Project Riese remains a mystery.

Two things are certain, the size of the project was immense and none of the constructions were finished. Only a few tunnels were reinforced with concrete. Project Riese was abandoned at the initial stage of construction and only 9 km (25,000 m2, 100,000 m3) of tunnels were dug out.

Tourist attraction

Today, some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.



A massive network of roads, narrow gauge railways and bridges were constructed to connect excavation sites with the nearby railway stations. In total, some 90,000 cubic metres of tunnels were carved into the mountains, the work involved to do this was strenuous and involved cutting down thousands of trees, building dams, digging reservoirs and drainage ditches, blasting rocks with explosives and reinforcing caverns with concrete and steel.

Access points

Seven major access points were constructed to separate tunnel systems at Walim-Rzeczka, Włodarz, Jugowice, Soboń, Sokolec, Osówka and Książ Castle.

Książ Castle


To build these giant structures, the Nazis used prisoners of war, prisoners from concentration camps and forced labourers. Many of these workers lost their lives due to disease, malnutrition, exhaustion & dangerous underground works.


Initially, concentration camp prisoners were not used; however a typhus epidemic occurred amongst the workforce in December 1943 significantly slowing down production. Hitler handed over supervision of construction to Organisation Todt, headed by Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and engineer and around 13,000 prisoners of the camps were put to work, many conscripted from Auschwitz concentration camp.

Albert Speer

Interestingly, Albert Speer himself stated that the Riese Project involved some 213,000 cubic metres of tunnels. Today, less than 100,000 are accounted for, suggesting that there are many tunnels and parts of the project still to be discovered. This is technically supported by the existence of narrow-gauge railways and plumbing that appear to lead nowhere, witness accounts also support this account.

Amber Room

113,000 cubic metres of undiscovered tunnels and a lack of documentation as to the purpose of the project has led to numerous conspiracy theories over the years. The favourite is that the tunnels were constructed to hide confiscated Nazi treasure including the famous Amber Room which disappeared from Saint Petersburg and missing gold and art from multiple locations around Europe. An area outside Wałbrzych was the focus of a story about a buried 'Nazi gold train' in August 2015 and today, the areas still attracts treasure hunters in search of their fortunes.


Q: When was Project Riese started?
A: Project Riese was started in 1943, during World War II, by Nazi Germany.

Q: Where is Project Riese located?
A: Project Riese is located in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland.

Q: Who built Project Riese?
A: Project Riese was built by Nazi Germany, using prisoners of war and forced laborers.

Q: What was the purpose of Project Riese?
A: The exact purpose of Project Riese is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers, and military command centers.

Q: Was Project Riese completed?
A: No, the project was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end.

Q: Is Project Riese open to the public?
A: Some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.

Tour to discover the secrets of World War II from Wroclaw

Tour to discover the secrets of World War II from Wroclaw

Let yout guide take you along the track of the biggest secrets of World War II in Lower Silesia. See The Osowka complex, which is a part of Nazi Riese Project and Gross-Rosen concentration camp.

The Osowka complex has been part of an impressive project conducted by Nazi Germany between 1943 and 1945 (code name “Riese”). The mysterious structure called “underground city” still hasn’t revealed all of its secrets. Discover the biggest and the most complex of Hitler’s headquarters in Lower Silesia. This complex is believed to be Adolf Hitler’s secret headquarters built in the Owl Mountains. This part of the tour is with live guide.

Ksiaz Castle is the third largest castle in Poland, placed on a impressive rock cliff by the side of the Pelcznica River. Surrounded by a charming forest which lays 395 meter above sea level, this castle is often called ‘the Pearl of Lower Silesia’. This part of the tour is with audio guide.

Lastly you will visit the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, the biggest Nazi-German concentration camp in Lower Silesia, where inmates worked in particularly harsh conditions in the quarries. The motto of this place was Vernichtung durch Arbeit (Annihilation through work). Around 40.000 prisoners died here: Poles, Jews, Russians, French and Hungarians. This part of the tour is with live guide – Book tickets

Majdanek Concentration Camp


Majdanek Camp – updated 15 January 2023.

Majdanek was a Nazi German concentration and extermination camp built and operated during World War II by the SS near the Polish city of Lublin. The camp was established in October 1941 and was one of the first Nazi camps built specifically for the extermination of Jews, as well as other groups such as Romani, Polish intelligentsia and Soviet prisoners of war. The camp was also used as a forced-labor camp for prisoners.

Majdanek was one of the most deadly camps of the Holocaust, with an estimated 80,000 to 130,000 people killed there. The majority of those killed were Jews, but the camp also held a significant number of non-Jewish Polish and Soviet prisoners, as well as Romani and prisoners of other nationalities. The camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on July 23, 1944 and it is now a museum and memorial site open to the public.


Operation Reinhard

The camp was located on the outskirts of the city of Lublin and was initially intended for forced labour. It soon became part of Operation Reinhard, the secretive German plan to exterminate Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland.

Seven gas chambers

The 270-hectare camp was one of the largest of the Nazi run death camps with seven gas chambers, two wooden gallows and 227 structures. Unlike other camps, the camp was captured nearly intact due to the rapid advance of the Soviet Army, which did not allow the SS sufficient time to destroy the infrastructure and evidence of war crimes.


Heinrich Himmler

The concept for the camp originated with Heinrich Himmler who was Reichsführer of the SS and a leading architect of the Holocaust. Originally, the camp was used as a work camp housing prisoners from 30 different countries and Soviet prisoners of war. The conditions at the camp were horrific, of the 150,000 people who were imprisoned in Majdanek, 80,000 died, including 60,000 Jews. Many succumbed to disease, starvation and the forced labour.

Sorting and storage depot

During the beginning of Operation Reinhard, the camp was re-purposed as a sorting and storage depot for property and valuables stolen from the victims at the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The gas chambers were added to the camp in September 1942; at which time, Majdanek began to function as a killing centre.



The official estimation of the number of victims of Majdanek is 78,000 of those 59,000 were Jews.

In July 1969, on the 25th anniversary of its liberation, a large monument was constructed at the site. It consists of two parts: a large gate monument at the camp’s entrance and a large mausoleum holding ashes of the victims at its opposite end.


Q: When was Majdanek Concentration Camp established?
A: The camp was established in October 1941 by the SS during World War II.

Q: Where is Majdanek Concentration Camp located?
A: It is located near the Polish city of Lublin.

Q: Who operated Majdanek Concentration Camp?
A: The camp was operated by the SS (Schutzstaffel) during World War II.

Q: How many people were killed at Majdanek Concentration Camp?
A: An estimated 80,000 to 130,000 people were killed at Majdanek Concentration Camp. The majority of those killed were Jews, but the camp also held a significant number of non-Jewish Polish and Soviet prisoners, as well as Romani and prisoners of other nationalities.

Q: When was Majdanek Concentration Camp liberated?
A: It was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on July 23, 1944.

Q: Is Majdanek Concentration Camp open to the public?
A: Yes, the camp is open to the public as a museum and memorial site. Visitors can tour the camp and learn about the history of the Holocaust and the atrocities committed at Majdanek Concentration Camp.

Visit the Majdanek website.

Wolf’s Lair


Wolf’s Lair – updated 15 January 2023.

The Wolf’s Lair (German: Wolfsschanze) was a top secret Nazi German military headquarters located in the Masurian woods in north-eastern Poland. It was built for Adolf Hitler and his top military staff during the Second World War. The complex consisted of more than 50 buildings, including bunkers, barracks, and various other structures. It was in operation from 1941 to 1944 and was the site of several key meetings and conferences, including the famous July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life, known as Operation Valkyrie.

Today, little remains of the complex, but some of the bunkers and foundations can still be seen.

Wolf’s Lair


Today Wolf’s Lair is 18 hectares of huge, overgrown and partly destroyed bunkers. During World War II, it was a top-secret, high security site surrounded by three security zones and guarded by personnel from the SS-Begleitkommando des Führers, Reichssicherheitsdienst and the Wehrmacht’s armoured Führerbegleitbrigade.

3,000 German labourers

Wolf’s Lair was an impressive feat of engineering with a remote location carefully chosen far away from typical aerial bombing targets such as transport routes and towns. 3,000 German labourers were involved in its construction consisting of 80 structures. These included seven bombproof bunkers for the top leaders of the Third Reich with walls and ceiling up to 8m thick.

Wolf’s Lair

3 security zones

The decision to build Wolf’s Lair was made in the autumn of 1940. Built in the middle of a protecting forest and located far from major roads. The complex occupied more than 6.5 km2 (2.5 sq. mi) and consisted of three separate security zones.

Sperrkreis 1

The most important of which was Sperrkreis 1 (Security Zone 1), in which was located the Führer Bunker and concrete shelters of members of the inner circle such as Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann, OKW chief Wilhelm Keitel and “chief of operations” OKW Alfred Jodl.

There was a total of ten bunkers in this area, all camouflaged and protected by 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) of steel-reinforced concrete. Hitlers was on the northern end, with all its windows facing north to avoid direct sunlight. Both Hitler’s and Keitel’s bunkers had rooms in which military conferences could be held.

Sperrkreis 2

Sperrkreis 2 (Security Zone 2) included military barracks and housing for several important Reich Ministers like Albert Speer, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Fritz Todt as well as Hitler’s escort battalion, the Führer Begleit Brigade.

Sperrkreis 3

Sperrkreis 3 (Security Zone 3) made up the outer security area of the compound, complete with land mines, special security troops and guard houses.

Nearby airfield

Close by was a facility for the Wehrmacht Operations Staff, and army headquarters was located several kilometres to the northeast of the FHQ complex. All these installations were served by a nearby airfield and train lines.

About two thousand people lived and worked at Wolf’s Lair at its peak, among them twenty women.


The security around the bunkers was impressive and included barbed wire barriers, gun emplacements and minefields in addition to some of Hitler’s most war-hardened troops. The camp included an emergency airstrip and a backup airfield 5km away to allow the Nazi Elite a quick exit if the need ever arose. The natural camouflage of the forest was further enhanced with artificial vegetation-like screens suspended on wires and changed according to the season of the year. The Allies did not discover Wolf’s Lair until 1945.


Hitler spent a long time in Wolf’s Lair. He arrived on 26th June 1941 and stayed there until 20th November 1944 with only short trips away.


Having survived an assassination attempt within the complex in July 1944, Hitler left Wolf’s Lair as the Soviet Red Army approached a few months later.

Assassination attempts at Wolf’s Lair

The Wolf’s Lair was the location of the July 20 plot to kill Hitler. During the period of reconstruction of the Führer Bunker in the summer of 1944, the daily strategy meetings were moved to the little building known as the Lager barrack, where staff officer Claus von Stauffenberg carried a bomb hidden in a briefcase into the meeting room and placed it just a few feet away from Hitler.

At 12:43 p.m. the bomb devastated the interior of the building but left Hitler only slightly injured. However, four others died from their wounds a few days later. The force of the blast was diminished because a staff officer unknowingly moved the briefcase on the opposite side of a thick wooden table leg from where von Stauffenberg had placed it, probably saving Hitler’s life. It is believed that had the bomb exploded in the massive concrete Führer Bunker as originally intended, everyone in the structure including Hitler would have been killed.

The Escape

Just moments before the blast, the would-be assassin and his adjutant, Lieutenant Werner von Haeften rapidly made their way from the conference barrack toward the first guard post just outside Sperrkeis 1. After a short delay they were allowed to pass and proceeded along the southern exit road toward Rastenburg airport.

By the time they reached the guard house at the perimeter of Sperrkreis 2, the alarm had been sounded. According to the official Gestapo report, “at first the guard refused passage until von Stauffenberg persuaded him to contact the adjutant to the compound commander who then finally authorized clearance”. It was between here and the final checkpoint of Sperrkreis 3 that von Haeften tossed a second briefcase from the car containing a second bomb which was also intended to explode in the conference barrack.

It is believed that had this bomb also been placed with the other, everyone inside would have been killed. Checkpoint three, the final barrier located at the outer reaches of the Wolf’s Lair, was expected to prove impenetrable, but the two men were simply waved through to the Rastenburg airport.

Operation Valkyrie

Thirty minutes after the bomb blast the two men were airborne and, on their way, back to Berlin and Army general headquarters. It was in this building, called the Bendlerblock, that “Operation Valkyrie”, a covert plan to react to the breakdown in civil order of the nation and suppress any revolt was transformed into the secret plot to assassinate the Führer of the German Reich.

However, when it was discovered that Hitler was still alive, the plan was doomed and along with it von Stauffenberg, his adjutant Werner von Haeften and co-conspirators General Friedrich Olbricht and his chief of staff Colonel Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim, who were arrested and executed in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock on the evening of July 20, 1944.

Red Army

The Wolf’s Lair complex was blown up on the 24 January 1945, just three days before the Red Army arrived. Many tons of explosives were required to do the job; one bunker required an estimated 8 tons of TNT. The minefield protecting the now ruined bunkers was still active with approximately 55,000 mines and it took 10 years to make the complex safe.


What to see

There’s not a lot to see nowadays, but with a little imagination and a site map or tour guide, you will be able to get a flavour of what life must have been like at Wolf’s Lair. The structures of the complex are conveniently numbered so that you can quickly ascertain what purpose they served. Number 13 is Adolf Hitler’s bunker, which is now just one wall but Göring’s home, number 16 is in surprisingly good condition.


Q: What is the Wolf’s Lair?
A: The Wolf’s Lair (German: Wolfsschanze) was a top secret Nazi German military headquarters located in the Masurian woods in northeastern Poland. It was built for Adolf Hitler and his top military staff during the Second World War.

Q: What was the purpose of the Wolf’s Lair?
A: It was built as a top secret military headquarters for Adolf Hitler and his top military staff during the Second World War. It was the site of several key meetings and conferences, including the famous July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life, known as Operation Valkyrie.

Q: When was the Wolf’s Lair in operation?
A: It was in operation from 1941 to 1944.

Q: Can visitors tour the Wolf’s Lair today?
A: It is possible to visit today, but there is little left of the original complex and much of it is in ruins. Some of the bunkers and foundations can still be seen.

Visit the Wolf’s Lair website.

Treblinka Concentration Camp

Treblinka Extermination Camp

Treblinka – updated 15 January 2023.

Treblinka was an extermination camp, built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. Together with the camps at Bełżec and Sobibor, the camp operated as part of Operation Reinhard, the deadliest phase of the Final Solution, so called in memory of Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking German SS and police official during the Nazi era and one of the main architects of the Holocaust.

The camp was established in 1942 as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.



The camp was located in a forest north-east of Warsaw, 4km south of the village of Treblinka in what is now the Masovian Voivodeship.


Treblinka operated between 23 July 1942 and 19 October 1943 and during this time, it is estimated that 900,000 to 1,200,000 people were murdered there. More Jews were killed at Treblinka than at any other Nazi extermination camp apart from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Death camp

Treblinka was designed to be a death camp, with the sole purpose of murdering as many people as efficiently as possible. The camp was operated by the SS (Schutzstaffel) and a large number of prisoners were killed in gas chambers using the pesticide Zyklon B.

Extermination camp

Three parts

The camp was divided into three parts and was a highly efficient death factory. One part of the camp was for the use of staff and housed workshops, another part was set aside as a reception area for prisoners and the third part was the extermination area.

The pipe

A narrow alley known as the ‘pipe’ connected the reception area with the extermination area allowing for quick transportation of prisoners to the gas chambers. The extermination area also contained mass graves and woodpiles for the cremation of prisoners.

Concentration camp

Immediate execution

Unlike other extermination camps, prisoners at Treblinka were murdered almost immediately upon arrival at the camp. There was no tattooing, no huts, no wooden bunks and no forced labour. People went straight to the gas chambers as soon as they alighted from their transport.

Additional gas chambers

Initially, there were three gas chambers at the camp with the capacity to asphyxiate 300-500 people per hour. Ten much bigger gas chambers were added in September 1942 increasing the capacity to between 1000-2000 people per hour.


Prisoners arrived in the village of Treblinka by transport trains, each with forty to fifty trucks carrying 6,000 to 7,000 people. From there, they were transported to the camp 4km away by convoys of trucks. On arrival at the camp, men were separated from the women and children and were forced to strip naked.

They were then driven down the, ‘pipe’ into the, ‘bath house’ where they died of gas poisoning within about 15 minutes.


The bodies were initially buried in mass graves but later were cremated on the orders of Heinrich Himmler who was already thinking about how to cover up the genocide. This was also required of the victims that had already been buried, and so the mass graves had to be opened and the bodies burned. The remains and the ash were thrown back into the graves.


The clothes and items left by the victims in the deportation barracks before the ‘shower’ were sorted. Gradually, bankers and goldsmiths were selected from the transports and formed into a commando called the Goldjuden – Gold Jews. Their job was to collect and classify any valuables, which were then vigorously traded by Germans, Ukrainians and the local population.

Warsaw Ghetto

The first transports to the camp came from the Warsaw ghetto. Between the 23rd of July and the 21st of August 1942, a total of 254,000 Jews from Warsaw and 112,000 from other parts of the Warsaw region were murdered here.

Red Army

Treblinka was one of the deadliest of the Holocaust extermination camps, with a death rate estimated to be around 99.7%. The camp was closed down in 1943, as the Soviet Red Army approached, and the SS destroyed much of the camp in an attempt to conceal the evidence of the mass murder that had taken place there. Today, Treblinka is a memorial and museum, with a monument and several mass graves marking the site of the camp.


Q: When was Treblinka Concentration Camp established?
A: The camp was established in 1942, during World War II, as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.

Q: Where is Treblinka Concentration Camp located?
A: It is located in occupied Poland, near the village of Treblinka, about 70 km (43 mi) northeast of Warsaw.

Q: Who operated Treblinka Concentration Camp?
A: It was operated by the SS (Schutzstaffel) during World War II.

Q: How many people were killed at Treblinka Concentration Camp?
A: An estimated 900,000 to 1,200,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed at the camp during its operation from 1942 to 1943.

Q: When was Treblinka Concentration Camp liberated?
A: It was closed down in 1943, as the Soviet Red Army approached, and the SS destroyed much of the camp in an attempt to conceal the evidence of the mass murder that had taken place there.

Q: Is Treblinka Concentration Camp open to the public?
A: Today, Treblinka is a memorial and museum, with a monument and several mass graves marking the site of the camp. The site is open to the public for visits and to pay respects to the victims of the Holocaust.

Treblinka Tours

Treblinka Concentration Camp

What to expect from this tour

Visit the museum and memorial to World War II in Treblinka, the second-biggest Nazi extermination camp.

Start your tour at the south end of the Warsaw Ghetto, where now the Palace of Culture and Science is. There, with your guide, you will see the memorial to Janusz Korczak, an educator, children-author and pedagogue, who went to Treblinka with his child students. Next, head for the Umschlagplatz, where Warsaw Jews were selected and loaded on the trains to the camp.

Afterwards, head for Treblinka commemoration place. There, in the middle of the forest, visit a museum with a miniature model of the camp and watch moving testimonies of some of the camp survivors. Next, following the symbolic train tracks, you walk towards the impressive Treblinka memorial. Made of over 17,000 stones, the monument commemorates over 700,000 victims of the extermination camp. Learn dire stories of transportation of the European Jews to this camp and find out more about the revolt that took place in Treblinka in the summer of 1943. After the time of contemplation at the Treblinka memorial, you return to Warsaw, to the original starting point.