In 2001 i visited a friend in Linz, In Austria. Whilst there she took me to Mauthasen concentration camp.
Years later I recorded my experience.
Austria was the Reich first victim.
`How beautiful my love is, in her plain dress, with a fine comb in her hair. Nobody knows how beautiful she was’.
”O girls of Mauthausen ! O girls of Berse! Have you seen my love?
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp grew to become a large group of Nazi concentration camps that was built around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria, roughly 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the city of Linz. Its history ran from the time of the Anschluss in 1938 to the beginning of May 1945.
The site of the camp was chosen as a site for a slave labour camp because of the nearby granite quarry, and due to its proximity to Linz. Although the camp was, from the beginning of its existence, controlled by the German state, it was founded by a private company as an economic enterprise.
On 8 May 1939 it was converted to a labour camp which was mainly used for the incarceration of political prisoners.
The production output of Mauthausen-Gusen exceeded that of each of the five other large slave labour centres, including: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Marburg and Natzweiler-Struthof, in terms of both production quota and profits. The list of companies using slave labour from the Mauthausen-Gusen camp system was long, and included both national corporations and small, local firms and communities.
Prisoners were also ‘rented out’ as slave labour, and were exploited in various ways, such as working for local farms, for road construction, reinforcing and repairing the banks of the Danube, and the construction of large residential areas in Sankt Georgen as well as being forced to excavate archaeological sites in Spielberg.