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What you need to know before Auschwitz tour

Auschwitz & Birkenau Camps: Oświęcim is a Polish town. Its name was changed to Auschwitz in 1939. When in September of 1939 Poland was attacked from two sides and failed to defend itself, the land was cut into two – the western part was incorporated into the Third Reich and the eastern part into the Soviet Union.  "Arbeit Macht Frei" Work Set You Free - Auschwitz Main Gate [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]Oświęcim went into the hands of the Third Rich, and as soon as the Nazis began the occupation, they started to build a concentration camp. The Auschwitz camp was built in 1940, Birkenau was established in a village three kilometres away in 1941, and Monowitz – a German IG Farbenindustrie synthetic rubber factory – in 1942. Today it is a state Museum and two former camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau, are open for visitors. Birkenau  In 1947 the Polish government, as motioned by former prisoners of the camp, decided to take Auschwitz I and II into its care, and by the power of legislation transform it into Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. For this purpose some of the camp’s infrastructure was rebuilt.In 1979 on the camp’s premises, in presence of 500 000 people, a mass was conducted by Pope John Paul II. During the mass the Pope announced Edith Stein, who was murdered in the camp in bunker no.2. will be beatified.The grounds of the former camp were included into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The UNESCO committee decided at the time that Auschwitz-Birkenau will be the only place of such sort on the list as a representation of other places of genocide in the world. An uncommon criterion was applied then (cultural criterion VI) which [...]

Krakow History shortly

Story of Krakow Old Town and Wawel Castle Krakow has a population of about one million and is second biggest city after Warsaw in Poland. This metropolis on the banks of the Vistula, the age-old hub of Polish statehood, is the best known as of thousands of historical monuments, many of them unique on a world scale, surviving in spite of numerous wars, a seat of learning with an academic tradition of over six centuries. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"] In the early Middle Ages Krakow was the central focus of power of the Vislan tribe. Prince Mieszko I unites Krakow and the lands of the Vislans with his Principality of Poland in the late 10th century. About 1036 Casimir the Restorer made Krakow the capital city of the country. It was about this time that stone edifices appeared on the crest of Wawel Hill, while along the northern side of its base a settlement was quickly springing up. In 1138 Boleslaus the Wry-Mouthes chose Krakow as his seats as Senior Prince (feudal overlord). After the ravage perpetrated in 1241 by the Tatarian invasion, Prince Boleslaus the Shy granted Krakow its foundation charter in 1257, therby endowing it with muncipial rights and ordering a new layout of the city's streets to be made, which has come downto us today. It was to be regular criss-cross grid of streets with a centrally situated, square market place, 200 meters square. Soon after foundation the Guildhall was erected in the Market Square to house the municipal authorities. Today there is only a surviving fourteenth-century tower left of medieval town hall. The late Ghotic and Renaissance Cloth Hall, the orgins of which in the thirteenth century were two rows [...]