Mauthausen Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by alancollins
  • Things to Do
    by alancollins
  • Things to Do
    by alancollins

Most Recent Things to Do in Mauthausen

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    The Visitor's Centre

    by alancollins Written Oct 4, 2014

    Since 2003 Mauthausen has had a new visitor's centre complete with a book shop, information desk, workshop, toilets and cinema. There is a cafe but with different opening hours depending on the time of year (information on website). Audio guides are available for 3€. There are a number of guided tours available but it is a case of checking the website or phoning the visitor's centre.

    Visitor's Centre in the distance
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    New Exhibitions

    by alancollins Written Oct 4, 2014

    Since my last visit to Mauthausen there have been some changes. You no longer have to pay an entrance charge and new exhibitions have opened in the old infirmary. Further changes are taking place which should be completed by 2018. The ground floor of the old infirmary covers the history of Mauthausen from its inception in 1938 to the liberation of the camp in May 1945. The exhibitions in this building also have an English translation. The next part of the exhibition is in the basement and follows the scene of the crime and the murder of prisoners. Followed by the room of names which displays and lists the names of 81,000 known victims. The names are also available to view via the internet. You leave the building and walk a short distance before returning to an older part of the museum.

    Room of names
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    The rock quarry

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    The prisoners were brought here to the rock quarry, known as the "Wiener Graben". They used the stone from the quarry to build the granite fortress-prison of the main camp. Stone from the quarry had been used to pave the streets of Vienna but was needed for Hitler's grandiose projects.

    Quarry Quarry Quarry Quarry Quarry
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    The Parachute Jump

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    Prisoners were forced to run up and down the stairs of death. Frequently those that survived that fate were taken to the top of the quarry and forced to jump to their deaths. SS humour named this the parachute jump. Though the ledge was narrow no SS troops ever fell off the ledge. The area where the ledge was is overgrown today.

    Parachute jump Parachute jump Parachute jump
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    Roll Call Square

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    The working day started at 4.45 am in the summer and 5.15 am in the winter. The day ended at 7pm. There were 2 roll calls each day which were held in this area. Behind the granite wall on the right was the quarantine camp. The building on the left with 2 chimneys was the hospital which contained a gas chamber in the basement.

    Roll Call Area Gas Chamber Crematorium Memorial Plaques
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    The Wailing Wall

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    When prisoners first arrived they were made to stand by the 'Wailing Wall' . There were iron rings set in the wall which were used to chain up the prisoners. The wall straight ahead is the wailing wall . The wailing wall and the wall on the left now have personal memorials placed there by families of the victims.

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    The Prisoner's Gate

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    The prisoners referred to this entrance as the Mongol gate or the Mongolian gate. The 2 watch towers above the gate give the appearance of Chinese architecture. The picture was taken from outside the camp. Because of the ready supply of granite this was the most ornate concentration camp with extensive use of the stone. The stairs on the right lead down to the garage yard.

    Entrance to camp Garage Yard Entrance to the Garage Yard Watch Tower above the entrance to the garage yard SS facilities were located here during the war
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    The Memorial Gardens

    by alancollins Written Jul 3, 2011

    This was originally the site of the SS Barracks and it was located between the main camp and the quarry steps. In 1949 the site was turned into a memorial garden with the first memorial being donated by France. There are now 22 monuments and more than 30 inscribed plaques.

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    The Stairs of Death

    by alancollins Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    There are 186 steps on the stairs of death. The prisoners were forced to carry 25 kgs blocks of granite on their back up the 186 steps. The weight was gradually increased and as the prisoners tired they would fall backwards striking other prisoners causing a dominoes effect. The SS use to gamble on who would fall. I walked down the stairs when it was wet and they are very slippery. Walking up the stairs once, is is very tiring enough let alone doing it all day.

    The stairs of death on a dry day The stairs of death on a wet day
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    Visit a World War 2 Concentration Camp

    by RawdgerDodger Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The former concentration camp located in Mauthausen is one camp of hundreds that have been turned into museums today. The camp at Mauthausen I found to be special. Inside I was able to see first hand the places where many Jewish, Russian, and other peoples who didn't fit the Nazi ideal of racial superiority were held against their will for many years. Most of the prisoners here died due to extremely poor working conditions (the camp at Mauthausen was originally established as a work camp) and towards the final stages of world war 2, it was converted into a concentration camp where thousands perished. Many stories surround this camp including one daring escape where the inmates threw their bed mats on the electrified barb wire fence in order that they may escape the camp. There is also a field where the Nazi SS officers used to play games of soccer upon. The secrecy of this camp was preserved by the Nazi's until the war turned sour for Germany. Before that time, all knowledge of the camp was suppressed even from local residents of Mauthausen who were shocked as to what horrors lay inside when the Americans liberated the prisoners still left alive in the winter of 1945. People were told by the SS officers that it was a holding camp for prisoners of war. They were not told that it was a concentration camp. Visiting this Concentration camp was like taking a trip back into time where one can see the conditions where members of the human race were forced to live when the world was at war. It is a time that even though it is horrific, it is part of humanity's past and, for the sake of the world's future, it is a history that none should forget or pretend that it doesn't exist.

    Mauthausen Sports Field Bunks in the camp Crematorium Oven Hand Carved Chess set made by prisoners
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    Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp

    by ealgisi Written Jan 3, 2010

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    There's not really much to say about, but Mauthausen Concentration Camp deserves a visit, and not for the camp itself, but in memory of all the people who have lost theis lifes.

    A big parking is available outside the complex, and the complex entrance fee is about 2 EUR with the availability of instant translation and explanation instruments, in different languages.

    Back in January 1945 the camps contained roughly 85'000 inmates but the death toll remains unknown.
    Mauthausen, with the other camp, Gusen, where the only 2 camps in the whole Europe to be labelles as Grade III, which means that they were intended to be the thoughest camps.

    Unlinke other camps, who were intended for mixed prisoners, Mauthausen and Gusen were mostly used for extermination and labour, "reserved" for educated people and members of high social classes.

    Back in august 1938 prisoners from the Dachau camp, were sent in Mauthausen to begin the camp construction.

    Inside the camp barracs can still be visited inside, and they have been restored using the same materials used during the camp construction.
    A very well explained museum with samples of letters, clothes, etc.. can be seen inside the camp, and this will keep you occupied for quite long time.

    Some parts of the camp aren't accessible during winter for safety reasons (ice).
    Inside the camp also many graves of different nationalities, remembering falles people.

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    main gate

    by doug48 Updated Sep 18, 2008

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    pictured is the main gate to mauthausen concentration camp. this is were you enter the camp from the parking lot. because of the camp's stone construction much of the camp looks the same as when it was built in 1938. once there was a metal eagle and swastika above the gate but it was removed when the camp was liberated in 1945. mauthausen's most famous inmate was simon wiesenthal who created the wiesenthal center after the war to locate fugitive nazi war criminals. attached is the official mauthausen website and an interesting site to see before and after pictures of the camp.

    main gate
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    "parachute jump"

    by doug48 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    once the prisoner carried the huge blocks of granite up the 186 steps of death sadistic s.s. guards often pushed them over the edge of the quarry for their sick entertainment. these guards called this procedure "the parachute jump". it is hard to imagine the cruelity and mindset of the perpetrators of these horrific crimes.

    wiener graben (quarry)
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    todesstiege

    by doug48 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    pictured is the todesstiege "steps of death". next to the camp was a large granite quarry that provided building material for projects of the third reich. inmates were required to carry large blocks of granite up the 186 steps of death. because of the size and weight of the blocks many could not accomplish the task and were executed.

    steps of death
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    crematorium

    by doug48 Written Sep 18, 2008

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    pictured is one of the crematorim ovens in the mauthausen death complex. this was the final procedure in the murder process of tens of thousands of inmates of mauthausen. the gas chamber and crematorium complex is a very disturbing section of the camp and is definately not for the squeamish or for children.

    crematorium oven
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