Year of Youth 2018

Auschwitz-Birkenau: A History Lesson During WYD

Last edited 24th March 2016

Auschwitz-Birkenau: A History Lesson During WYD

During World Youth Day in Krakow, Auschwitz-Birkenau will be open exclusively to pilgrims.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest extermination camp established by Nazi Germany during World War II, is located in the town of Oswiecim, approximately 50 kilometers from Krakow.

From July 20th to July 28th and from August 1st to August 3rd, 2016, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum will be open only to pilgrims - WYD participants - who register in advance.

The State Museum will be open during this period on a special basis. Due to limited capacity, access to the museum buildings will be forbidden. A special outdoor exhibition and a guide in several languages will be made available to the pilgrims. The tour has been planned in such a way that the pilgrims will get to know the most important places in the camp-museum. It is expected that the duration of the visit will be about 90 minutes.

"Changes in the organization of sightseeing are the result of a huge interest in visiting the former Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, by the participants of WYD," says Malgorzata Cembala, Coordinator of World Youth Day affairs at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. "Due to the huge interest and conservation requirements, sightseeing will not cover the interiors of historic buildings."

During his visit to Poland during World Youth Day, the Holy Father Francis will visit (on Friday, July 29th) the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial. There, he will deliver a speech and will pray in the cell of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe and in front of the so-called Death Wall. The prayers will be attended by representatives of the former prisoners, representatives of other religions and denominations, and individuals honored with the title "Righteous Among the Nations - people who risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Izabela Czak,

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