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Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Wednesday: 09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00 *
Fridays and Holiday eves: 09:00-14:00.

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

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Women in Auschwitz

Grades: 9 - 12
Duration: 20 minutes

This ceremony explores the female experience at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp as expressed by women who were inmates there in 1944.

While there are many commonalities in the male-female prisoner experience at Auschwitz-Birkenau, from selection through forced labor, there are also many aspects of the prisoner experience that were unique to women. The words and feelings of women who survived are highlighted in this ceremony.

Birkenau, Poland, Women pronounced fit for labor standing on the platform after a selection, May, 1944

Birkenau, Poland, May, 1944, Women deemed fit for work, after the camp absorption process

Birkenau, Poland, Women and children deemed unfit for work on the way to the gas chamber, May, 1944

Auschwitz-Birkenau, women and children deemed "unfit for work" being led unknowingly to Gas Chamber #4

Birkenau, Poland, May, 1944, Women and children deemed unfit for work on their way to gas chamber number four

Birkenau, Poland, May, 1944, Jews waiting in a grove near gas chamber number four prior to their extermination

Jews who had just undergone selection at Auschwitz-Birkenau and were classified as “not fit for work” in a grove before being gassed

May 1944

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Female inmates beside the barracks

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, A selection on the platform

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Jews undergoing the selection process on the Birkenau arrival platform known as the "ramp".

The people in the background are on their way to Crematorium II, whose building is just visible on the top center of the photo.

Birkenau, Poland, Women and children standing on the selection platform, May, 1944

Birkenau, Poland, May, 1944, Women deemed fit for work after the camp absorption process

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Women standing at roll call in the Women’s Camp

Auschwitz, Poland, The interior of a women's barrack

Birkenau, Poland, An eldery woman among those deemed unfit for labor

Hannah Bar Yesha – The Hungarian Women's Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hannah Bar Yesha relates witnessing the humiliation of a woman at Birkenau

  1. Lengyel, Olga, Five Chimneys, Academy Chicago Publishers: 1995, p. 227.
  2. Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5.
  3. The testimony of Betty Parkal, Yad Vashem Archives O.3/6394, Jerusalem: 1990, pp. 60-61.
  4. The testimony of Lea Kahana-Grunwald, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/11914, Jerusalem: 2000, p. 23.
  5. The testimony of Laura Varon, Yad Vashem Archives O.3/10423, Jerusalem: 1996, p. 19.
  6. The testimony of Feige Serl-Lax, Yad Vashem Archives 0.3/11009, Jerusalem: 1995, pp. 22-2.
  7. The testimony of Tova Berger, Yad Vashem Archives 0.3/10839, Jerusalem, p. 11.
  8. The testimony of Yehudit Rubinstein, Yad Vashem Archives O.3/4483, Jerusalem: 1984, pp. 15-16.
  9. Lengyel, Olga, Five Chimneys, Academy Chicago Publishers: 1995, p. 116.
  10. The testimony of Lea Kahana-Grunwald, Yad Vashem Archives O.3/11914, Jerusalem: 2000, p. 28.
  11. The testimony of Yehudit Rubinstein, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/4483, Jerusalem: 1984, p. 49.
  12. The testimony of Lea Kahana-Grunwald, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/11914, Jerusalem: 2000, pp. 24-25.
  13. The testimony of Betty Parkal, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/6394, Jerusalem: 1990, p. 78.
  14. The testimony of Miriam Buki, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/5587, Jerusalem: 1989, p. 33.
  15. The testimony of Yehudit Rubinstein, Yad Vashem Archive O.3/4483, Jerusalem: 1984, p. 68.