SS Guard Tower


Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans. It was a complex of camps, including a concentration, extermination, and forced labour camp. It was located near Cracow (Krakow), Poland.

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This grey-scale image illustrates the Schutzstaffel (SS) guard tower (sentry post) at the Auschwitz I labour camp at ulica Więźniów Oświęcimia 20, Oświęcim 32-600, Poland.

Initially, the guard towers with a simple structure were erected around the fence in Auschwitz – four wooden piles supported the observation platform surrounded by a railing and covered roof.

Two SS men were usually on duty at night: one operated the searchlight and the other a machine gun.

Towards the end of 1943, they began to replace them with new ones, fully planked and equipped with windows.

They were made by German companies and delivered to the camp by rail in prefabricated form. They were completed in the spring of 1944.

The larger towers measured 4.5 x 4.5 m at their base and were 11.6 m high.

Several air-raid shelters with concrete vaults covered with bricks and a layer of soil were built next to the towers. If the fence was destroyed during an air raid and the prisoners attempted to escape, the guards hidden inside could open fire at them.

Image size: 2670×4159
File size: 3.5MB
DPI: 300
Bit: 24 bit
Colour: No
Property/model release: No
Edited: Yes. Adobe Lightroom CC
Location: Auschwitz I, Poland
Year took: 2020
Copyright owner: J. J. Williamson