The Auschwitz Museum can now also be viewed online. The museum's website contains over 200 high-quality panoramic photographs of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
The pictures were taken in a 360-degree panorama which allows for viewing of the grounds and the objects of the Nazi camp. Additionally, the online archives are enriched with historical data, witness testimonies, documents, and photographs. There are also works of art made by prisoners and objects shedding light on the history of the camp – Auschwitz Museum spokesperson Bartosz Bartyzel told the press.
Some of the objects that can be viewed by virtual visitors aren't even accessible to regular public. These are the sentry towers; block 10, where sterilisation experiments took place; and the cells in the basement of block 11.
While clicking through the different panoramas, the online user receives suggestions from the authors regarding specific publications as well as online lessons on the history of Auschwitz – added the spokesperson.
Online access to the museum is primarily for educational purposes and to increase the museum's accessibility.
This might the only chance for people from far away countries to experience the sites of the former camp – commented museum director Piotr Cywiński.
Available in English and Polish, the website panorama.auschwitz.org has also been adapted for mobile devices. The project took two years to complete.
We took pictures of different sizes, some even from tens of meters away. Therefore the architecture of the place is more visible. The pictures were taken in different weather conditions, at different times of the day, some at night – explains one of the project's photographers, Marek Kocjan.
The concentration camp in Auschwitz was set up by the Germans in 1940 to imprison Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was set up two years later, and came to be one of the sites of the Holocaust. The camp complex had a net of sub-camps. In Auschwitz the Germans exterminated at least 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners and people of other nationalities.
The museum was erected on the former grounds of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps in 1947. Last year it was visited by 1.33 million people. The former camp was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
Translator: MJ 02/12/2014