Entrance “Death Gate”

The gate house was built in 1943, long after the Birkenau camp was opened. The first inmates, who were Soviet Prisoners of War, arrived at Birkenau on October 7, 1941. At first, the gate shown in the photo above was for trucks and pedestrians. Railroad tracks were not laid through the gate until the Spring of 1944, just before transports of Hungarian Jews began to arrive.

Beginning around the middle of May 1944, trains that were 40 to 50 cars long rolled through this gate, day and night, bringing thousands of Jews to be gassed at the four Birkenau gas chambers. The prisoners called it the Gate of Death.

View from the gatehouse of the ramps where the Jews went through the selection process