1.         Auschwitz Birkenau
German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945) (Poland) (C 31)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban Pressure; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation)

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/31/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

As requested by the Committee, a report was submitted by the State Party on 23 February 2004, which outlined the progress made in the implementation of the 2nd phase of the Strategic Programme for the Oświęcim Area (OSPR) for the years 2002-2006.  Within the framework of the strategic programme, public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and car parks continues to improve in and around the World Heritage property. A number of buildings have also been renovated and restored in 2002 and 2003.


Concerning education and awareness raising, the Polish authorities organised an International Conference on education in Krakow from 16 to 17 June 2003 in order to disseminate information about what happened in the past and to promote tolerance and international understanding among young generations. The conference was also an opportunity to promote the creation of the International Education Centre in Oświęcim, as foreseen as part of the Second stage of the OSPR. The creation of such a Centre is the first of its kind to educate the public on the complex history associated with Auschwitz. 


The management of the gravel pit area Zwirowisko was transferred to the Ministry of Culture on 12 December 2003. The gravel pit area will be used by the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau for a range of educational activities and this will reduce the tensions, which existed over its use. 


Furthermore, the Polish authorities submitted a comprehensive study on the protection of the Auschwitz-Birkenau area, "Marek Rawecki. 2003. Auschwitz-Birkenau Zone, Wydawnictwo Politechniki Slaskjej". The aims of the study are to analyse past efforts in safeguarding the site and to make recommendations concerning urban planning and management of the area. The publication includes a colour map indicating the inscribed area of the World Heritage site and its buffer zone, along with infrastructure such as traffic routes, car parks and pedestrian routes. The International Conference "Preserving for the Future" from 23 to 25 June 2003 in Oświęcim, discussed the technical aspects, particularly the presentation and conservation of objects in the museum.


In December 2003, the Polish authorities started a process in order to prepare a management plan and to clarify boundaries of the property, with the financial assistance from the State of Israel. Within this framework an expert meeting will be held from 13 to 15 May 2004, followed by the visit of Polish experts to the Documentation Centre at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, Israel). 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.93

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the State Party for the progress made with regard to efforts in order to enhance the state of conservation of the property and to raise awareness of the outstanding universal value of the property;

2. Takes note that the State Party organised an expert meeting scheduled for May 2004 in order to prepare a management plan for the property;

3. Requests that the progress report on the preparation of a management plan together with an updated report on the Strategic Programme for the Oświęcim Area be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 29th session in 2005;

4. Further requests that the finalized management plan be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2006 for the examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session in 2006.