Auschwitz Concentration Camp Virtual Tour

Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Alan Jacobs photo

A brilliant mind and photographer left us this week, and my heart misses my friend Alan Jacobs whose Auschwitz Concentration Camp Virtual Tour is a breakthrough way to see the camp, even if you never are able to visit it.

Missing my friend, Alan Jacobs

Enter Auschwitz Krematorium 1 and take the tour with videos below – the top 3 are the Original Auschwitz Concentration Camp Virtual Tour. Below those are the same 3 videos with captions by Alan Jacobs and art.

At the bottom of the page are text descriptions of what you see, with details and historical information and much more.

More Virtual Tour of Auschwitz

Auschwitz Krematorium 1

The first crematorium in Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

The door below the chimney is the entrance to the gas chamber.

The building was converted from an old munitions bunker to a crematorium, circa July 5, 1940.

Scrolling you see the SS hospital.

Further to the right is a street that ends at the admissions building (see map), and to its right maintenance building and workshops.

Still further is a parking lot for people who work in the Memorial.

All photos and videos are Copyright Alan Jacobs and

Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Krematorium 1 Gas Chamber
Victims were led in through the door at the front left.

To the right and near the top edge of the photo, is another post-war reconstruction.

Notice the rectangular dark area, one of the ceiling openings through which the “Zyklon B” blue crystals were poured from the rooftop by SS guards wearing gas masks as they were immediately activated on release from their canisters.

Scrolling to another doorway, you catch a glimpse of the furnace room.

The poisonous agent, “Zyklon B”, was used in Germany before and during the war for disinfection and pest extermination in ships, buildings and machinery.

In Auschwitz it was used exclusively for sanitation and pest control until the end August of 1941.

From that time it was also used as an agent of mass annihilation, first experimentally (on Russian POW’s) and then routinely.

Zyklon B consisted of diatomite, in granules the size of fine peas saturated with prussic acid.

In view of its volatility and the associated risk of accidental poisoning, it was supplied to the camp in sealed metal canisters.

The Zyklon used at Auschwitz was produced by the firm Degesch (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung mbH), with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and forming a part of IG Farbenindustrie.

Zyklon B painting by Geoffrey Laurence

Copyright All Rights Reserved.

All photos and videos are Copyright Alan Jacobs and

Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Krematorium 1 Furnace

Two sets of furnaces where bodies were burned.

The device at the oven mouth is mounted on rails and used to push the bodies into the flames.

Scroll and look through the door to the gas chamber (see Krematorium 1 Gas Chambers, Video #2 on this page and described above).

After gassing, prisoners workers called Sonderkommando (special workers), men who were forced on pain of death to do this work, carried or dragged the bodies to the rail carts that were used to push the bodies into the ovens.

Scrolling around you see some of the devices used for another oven no longer there.

This was an early version of the industrial mass production methods used for murdering countless souls.

As you will see in the Birkenau exhibition (see Birkenau Map), the Nazis were to greatly improve the size and efficiency of their mass destruction methods.

All photos and videos are Copyright Alan Jacobs and

More Virtual Tour of Auschwitz

For all who never had a chance to meet and work with Alan Jacobs

For 25 years I helped him share his visions and his breakthrough VR work, a Virtual Tour of Auschwitz Concentration Camp – because he knew that a single photograph couldn’t compare to a 360 degree virtual experience, immersing in a place rather than watching a photo..

His last email sent a few weeks ago still makes me smile…

“What can only a grateful thanks  be enough?  … but just thank you for your dedication, diligence, expertise, talent, and most of all FRIENDSHIP!

All my very best Declan,


To sum up Jake in a sentence is impossible, his life was one of exploring and sharing and finding meaning, from firehouses in Chicago to the fields of Auschwitz…much of his work on are collaborations with his dear wife Krysia.

A few words from someone who touched mine and millions of lives with his work, generations of people have grown up viewing his photos and articles.

“I set out to discover as much as I can, never realizing at the time the complexity of the job or how captivating it would become, the tight-knit community I was allowed to enter, the tragedy, and the humor, the honesty and openness, the help I would receive and… the friendships. What a bunch they are.”

Alan Jacobs – after living with Chicago area firefighters for a year, and writing a book about the experience.

“Thank God for These Guys” at:

“Before starting this significant criticism of Israeli policy for the Palestinians I think a short history of my involvement with the Holocaust is necessary.

My first trip to Auschwitz was in 1979. Since that time I have made eight separate trips to Poland and the two camps there, Auschwitz and Birkenau. My photographic work of Mauthausen and the two camps mentioned above are published on the Cybrary of the Holocaust, and one exhibition, the Virtual Tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau won a first prize in an Adobe world wide competition.”

Alan Jacobs was a psychotherapist, and also an author and independent researcher on issues related to genocide and the abuse of power.

He has been to Auschwitz and Birkenau many times. During those visits, he interviewed numerous survivors and took many photographs of the camps.

He has also spent many hours viewing artifacts, art and photographs stored at the Auschwitz Museum Archives. He made a film using the words and art of survivors and SS photos.

Although still a work in progress, it has been shown in universities, professional conferences, cultural centers etc.

Jacobs has had several articles published on the structure of dictatorship and for some of this work he received the 1996 Eric Berne Memorial Award for social applications of theory.

He wrote about autocratic power, nationalism, aspects of survival, and explanations of why people commit mass murder and genocide.

Jacobs is the editor of Idea, an e-journal of articles, stories and reviews dedicated to discussion and exploration of cults, totalism, autocracy, war, holocaust and genocide.

Also a psychotherapist and trainer, Jacobs has has conducted workshops for professional therapists in the USA and abroad.

Most of all, he was a friend to many, supporting them through his photos and his words,  always challenging  mediocre ways of thinking, and a blast to hang out with.

While he’s missed, his work lives on, as does his vision of a world that can do better, and only will if we challenge it.

Thanks for the 25 years of knowing you, being pushed by your amazing energy and creativity, and most of all, for the friendship.

Would say I’ll miss you, though your presence in my heart is always there, and a honor to share a part of this life journey with you my friend.