HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Austria marks 70th annive...

Wed May 6, 2015, 03:03 AM

Austria marks 70th anniversary of liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp

Source: Shanghai Daily

VIENNA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann Tuesday paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi regime and resistance fighters to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp by U.S. troops.

"We remember all those who suffered, all those who died, at that place," Faymann said, referring to the concentration camp in Upper Austria where the number of people killed is estimated to run into the hundreds of thousands.

He said one must not simply let this day of the year pass as any other would, but rather engage in fundamental discussions in Austria and Europe, and learn the right lessons from history, something he said the European Union has been doing since its founding.


Read more: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=280429



Mauthausen

Nazi Germany incorporated Austria in the Anschluss of March 11-13, 1938. Shortly thereafter, Reichsführer-SS (SS chief) Heinrich Himmler, SS General Oswald Pohl, the chief of the SS Administration and Business Offices, and SS General Theodor Eicke, the Inspector of Concentration Camps, inspected a site they thought suitable for the establishment of a concentration camp to incarcerate, as Upper Austrian Nazi Party district leader August Eigruber put it, “traitors to the people from all over Austria.” The site was on the bank of the Danube River, near the “Wiener Graben” stone quarry, which was owned by the city of Vienna. It was located about three miles from the town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria, 12.5 miles southeast of Linz.

At the end of April 1938, the SS founded a company, German Earth and Stone Works Inc. (Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke, GmbH-DESt), to exploit the granite which they intended to extract with concentration camp labor. In August 1938, the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps transferred approximately 300 prisoners, mostly Austrians and virtually all convicted repeat offenders or persons whom the Nazi regime classified as “asocials” from Dachau concentration camp to the Mauthausen site in order to begin construction of the new camp. By the end of 1938, Mauthausen held nearly 1,000 prisoners, still virtually all convicted criminals and asocials. Three months into World War II in December 1939, the number had increased to over 2,600 prisoners, primarily convicted criminals, "asocials," political opponents, and religious conscientious objectors, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.

An estimated 197,464 prisoners passed through the Mauthausen camp system between August 1938 and May 1945. At least 95,000 died there. More than 14,000 were Jewish.

source

Mauthausen

Location: 20 km from the city of Linz, Austria.
•Established: August 8 1938.
•Liberated: May 5 1945 by the US 11th. armour division.
•Estimated number of victims: aproximately 150.000.
•Sub-camps: 49 permanent sub-camps and aproxametly 10 camps that lasted for some weeks.

Mauthausen was classified as a so-called "category three camp". This was the fiercest category, and for the prisoners it meant "Rûckkehr unerwünscht" (return not desired) and "Vernichtung durch arbeit" (extermination by work).

In summer, wake up was at 4.45 a.m (5.15 in winter), and the working day ended at 7 p.m. This included two roll calls and the distribution of food rations. All the activity revolved around the Wiener Graben and the underground tunneling at the sub-camps of Gusen (I, II and III), Melk and Ebensee. In the Wiener Graben the prisoners were divided into two groups; one that hacked into the granite and the other that carried the slabs up the 186 steep steps to the top of the quarry.

Another killing method, favored by the SS during the winter season, was to gather a group of prisoners in the garage yard and order them to undress. A guard then sprayed water over the group which was left to freeze to death. This was quite effective in a region where the winter temperature usually was around minus 10 degrees Celsius.

On May 5 1945, units of the American 11th Armor Division liberated the main Mauthausen camp. 15,000 bodies were buried in mass graves. Due to diseases and starvation, 3.000 prisoners died in the weeks that followed after the liberation.

source

1 replies, 833 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Austria marks 70th anniversary of liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp (Original post)
Behind the Aegis May 2015 OP
leftynyc May 2015 #1

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Wed May 6, 2015, 05:36 AM

1. ...

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread