Oświęcim, Poland Travel Guide

Famous people

Lukasz Górnicki (1527-1603)
Polish humanist, writer and chancellor of King Sigismund II August of Poland ; The poet from Oświęcim wrote political and historical works, among other things. According to politicsezine, Oświęcim is a city in Poland.

Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höß (1900 – 1947)

As commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp between 1940 and 1943 and again in 1944, he was responsible for the “smooth” course of the National Socialist mass murder there; After he went into hiding in May 1945 and was arrested by the British military police in 1946, he was extradited to Poland in June. He was sentenced to death on April 2, 1947 and hanged a fortnight later in the former Auschwitz I main camp

Maximilian Maria Kolbe (1894-1941)
Kolbe was born on January 8, 1894 as the son of Julius Kolbe of German origin and his wife Maria in Zduńska Wola in what is now Poland. He was ordained a priest in 1918. Since he continued to do missionary work after the German invasion and had also hidden Jews, he was arrested by the Nazis along with 40 other Franciscans in 1941 and taken to Auschwitz.
Because of the alleged escape of a prisoner, 10 men were to be locked in the hunger bunker as a reprisal. One of the death row inmates – Franciszek Gajowniczek – then broke out in loud lamentations that he had a wife and children. Thereupon Kolbe offered himself to the camp commandant Karl Fritzsch as a replacement. The exchange was accepted and instead of the prisoner Gajowniczek, Kolbe was taken to the hunger bunker on July 31, 1941. Since he and three others were still alive on August 14, they were killed with phenolic syringes rammed into their chests and then burned. Franciszek Gajowniczek survived and died in 1995.
In 1971 Kolbe was appointed by Pope Paul VI. Beatified – and canonized as a martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1982. Franciszek Gajowniczek was present on both occasions. On May 28, 2006, the German Pope Benedict XVI visited the hunger bunker in Auschwitz

Paweł Korzeniowski (born 1985)

Polish swimmer from Oświęcim – at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens he was fourth in the 200m butterfly

Tadeusz Makowski (1882-1932)

Polish painter, illustrator and graphic artist from Oświęcim; he mainly painted landscapes and idylls

Jan von Oświęcim the Senior

Rector of the Jagiellonian University in Krakowaround 1480, where he taught at the Faculty of Humanistic Sciences; he was also a reformer of, among other things, the fine arts; his place of birth was Oświęcim

Jan von Oświęcim the Younger (1444-1527)

humanist and professor from Oświęcim; worked temporarily as rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Miroslav Sikora (born 1957)

former German ice hockey player, who was born in Oświęcim; In the course of his career he played for the German and Polish national teams and for the Cologne ice hockey club (KEC)

Arkadiusz Skrzypaszek (born 1968), the

most important modern Polish pentathlete from Oświęcim; he won two Olympic gold medals in Barcelona in 1992

Szymon Syrenski (1540 – 1611)

Professor of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow; worked at the same time as a doctor for the poor in Krakow; his work on medicinal plants became a standard work of the medical faculty of the Jagiellonian University in the 16th and 17th centuries; Syrenski came from Oświęcim

Beata Szydlo (born 1963)
politician. Beata Szydlo was born on April 15, 1963 in Oświęcim (Auschwitz) as Beata Maria Kusińska). It belongs to the national conservative party PiS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość = Law and Justice).
The PiS was founded in 2001 by the then Justice Minister Lech Kaczyński (1949-2010) and his twin brother Jarosław Kaczyński (born 1949).
Beata Szydło has been a member of the Sejm since 2005 and has been Prime Minister of Poland since November 16, 2015.

Arrival and transport


Oświęcim is an important traffic junction for car traffic and has a very good transport infrastructure.
The most important road junctions or transit routes that cross at Oświęcim are No. 44 (= Tichy – Oświęcim – Zator – Wadowice), No. 933 (= Chrzanow – Oświęcim – Pszyna) and No. 948 (= Oświęcim – Kety). Oświęcim is connected to Katowice, about 35 kilometers away, and Kraków, 60 kilometers away, via road No. 780.

Auschwitz can be easily reached from Germany via the A4 autobahn. From Berlin, for example, you drive via Cottbus and Forst, where you meet the A18 in Poland near Olszyna. After about 80 km, the A18 meets the A4, which runs via Breslau (Wrocław), Gleiwitz (Gliwice), Kattowitz (Kattowice) to Krakow (Kraków) and on to the Ukraine. The exit to Auschwitz (Oświęcim) is signposted.

If you want to arrive via the German A4 motorway, you get to the Polish A4 shortly after Görlitz – south of the A18 – at Jedrzychowice and then continue as described.
The maximum speed is 140 km / h, unless the traffic signs indicate a lower speed.

The A18 is officially not designated as a motorway but as an expressway and in the direction of Poland is in a miserable condition. However, the oncoming lane in the direction of Germany is of excellent quality – even with a wide verge. The maximum speed here is 120 km / h.

If you are coming from Katowice, you can reach Oświęcim via the E75 and E44 roads, and those arriving from Bielsko-Biala will get to the city quickest via Road 1.
Roads 28 and 52 also run between Oświęcim and other regions of Poland.


There are two major airports near Oświęcim. In addition to the airport in Kattowice (Katowice-Pyrzowice), which is 70 kilometers away, the John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice (Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków-Balice) is around 50 kilometers away .
The airport in Kraków is (after the Frédéric -Chopin Airport in Warsaw) the second largest in Poland. Located about 11 kilometers west of the city center on the A4 / E40 motorway, it can handle 2.7 million passengers. Krakow Airport is suitable for both national and international connections.


Oświęcim has been one of the most important railway junctions in the country since the second half of the 19th century at the latest. Inter City and Euro City trains run through the main station. In addition to the national connections (including to Krakow, 18 times a day), Oświęcim is also a stop on routes to, for example, Vienna, Berlin, Prague or Bratislava.


The Oświęcim bus station is located in the immediate vicinity of the city (on Chemikow Street). Connections exist to Kraków, Chelmek, Glebowice, Kety, Tychy and Zator, among others. Many private bus lines also offer their services.

Oświęcim, Poland Travel Guide

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