Before I made a trip to the former Mauthausen concentration camp several years ago, I consulted several travel guide books. The guidebooks all recommended that visitors to the former camp should not stay in the town of Mauthausen, implying that this was an evil place where one would not sleep well at night. Another town, several miles away, was recommended. Against this advice, I decided to rent a hotel room in the town of Mauthausen. As it turned out, Mauthausen was the most beautiful town that I’ve ever seen.
Today, when I read here about a new documentary film entitled Six Million and One, I remembered the town. According to the news article: “The first image one sees in David Fisher’s new documentary Six Million and One is a crumbling stone doorway bridged by a spider web. The visual irony is striking, with the rough yellow stone breaking down, the wispy lacework sturdy and undamaged. That irony is, perhaps, at the center of Fisher’s film.”
You can see more photos of the town of Mauthausen on my website here.
I am not sure how the irony of the spider web door fits into the documentary; the buildings in the Mauthausen camp are also beautiful.
You can see more photos of the former Mauthausen concentration camp on my website here.
Both of David Fisher’s parents survived the Holocaust. His father Joseph was a prisoner at the Gusen and Gunskirchen sub-camps of Mauthausen. You can read about the Gusen sub-camps of Mauthausen on my website here. The Gusen camps were an end destination for some of the prisoners who were death marched out of Auschwitz on January 18, 1945. However, Joseph Fisher might have been one of the Hungarian Jews who were sent to Auschwitz in the Spring of 1944 and then transferred immediately to Gusen and Gunskirchen to work in the munitions factories. He probably never had the opportunity to see the beautiful town of Mauthausen, nor the Mauthausen main camp. You can read about the liberation of Mauthausen on my website here.
So what does Joseph Fisher’s story have to do with the spider web door in the town of Mauthausen?