Scrapbookpages Blog

May 5, 2013

A new Holocaust exhibit has just opened in the creepy morgue of the Mauthausen concentration camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:12 am

Today is March 5th, the anniversary of the official liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz, Austria, so of course, I searched the news to see if there is a big celebration going on. Sure enough, I found this news article with the headline Austria Faces Past in Nazi Camp’s New Museum.

This quote is from the news article:

….a new visitor centre open to the public from Monday that tells the dark story of Austria’s main “KZ” and its subcamps between 1938 and 1945. […]

The two new permanent exhibitions, housed in the original buildings, recreate this not only with the interviews but also dozens of original objects that speak volumes about life — and death — at Mauthausen.  […]

Another new installation at Mauthausen is the “Room of Names”, where the 81,007 people documented to have died there are inscribed on horizontal glass panels in the camp’s chilly — and chilling — former mortuary.

Excuse me …. I cannot think of anything worse than putting a “Room of Names” in the smelly, creepy morgue room at Mauthausen.  Did the creators of this exhibit somehow clean up the morgue and get the smell out, so that visitors can read the names of the people who died in the camp?

The photo below shows the Mauthausen hospital on the left and the green bunker building, where the gas chamber and the morgue are located, on the right.

Hospital on the left and Bunker on the right

Hospital on the left and Bunker on the right

The photo below, which I took on my trip to Mauthausen in 2003, shows the entrance to the Leichen Raum  (corpse room in English) which is located in the basement of the bunker. In the background, on the left, you can see the execution spot where prisoners were hanged.

Sign on the wall directs visitors to morgue room at Mauthausen

Sign on the wall in the bunker directs visitors to morgue room at Mauthausen concentration camp

May 2003 photo of Mauthausen morgue

May 2003 photo of Mauthausen morgue

The photo above was taken with flash; the morgue was almost completely dark when I walked through it in 2003.

The only reason that I went through this creepy room was to follow the water pipe which goes through the wall of the morgue into the hallway and then into the gas chamber, thus proving that the gas chamber is actually a shower room.

Water pipe goes through wall of morgue into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Water pipe goes through wall of morgue into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Of course, the gas chamber at Mauthausen could have been a multi-purpose room where the prisoners could take a shower, or be gassed to death with Zyklon-B.  The walls of the shower room do not show any blue stains from Zyklon-B use, but those clever Nazis could have scrubbed the tile walls clean.

Door into Mauthausen gas chamber shows water pipe going from morgue into the gas chamber

Door into Mauthausen gas chamber with water pipe going from morgue into hallway and then into the gas chamber

Same door in the open position

Same door in the open position

The photo above shows the door on the south wall of the gas chamber in the open position. To the right of the door is a water pipe that goes through the morgue and into the gas chamber. Note the sparkling clean white tile on the wall of the gas chamber.  How did those clever Nazis get the blue stains out of the grout?

In my personal opinion, it was a big mistake to turn the Mauthausen morgue into Museum space.  This is no way to honor the prisoners who died at Mauthausen.  Taking tourists into the former morgue only calls attention to the water pipes going into the gas chamber, something you don’t want to know if you are a True Believer.

Two doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Two doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber

The photo above shows the two doors into the interior of the Mauthausen gas chamber.  The west wall of the gas chamber is on the right; visitors can go through this door into the gas chamber without going through the former morgue, which has the new exhibit.

The door on the left, in the photo, is on the south wall of the gas chamber.  The gassing apparatus, which was behind the south wall, was removed by the SS men when they left the camp a few days before the camp was liberated. The south wall was put back into original condition by the SS and no traces of the gassing apparatus can be seen today.

On the south wall  is a sign (not shown in the photo) in several languages which describes how the gas chamber functioned. Next to it on the wall is a private memorial to one of the prisoners who was gassed here.

The Mauthausen gas chamber ceiling is 7.8 feet high and the white ceramic tile on the walls only goes part of the way up the wall. The floor is glazed brick. The door on the right leads to the corpse room, a single crematory oven, the autopsy room and the execution spot. The door on the left opens into a hallway in which a poster, showing a can of Zyklon-B is displayed.

Mauthausen was not a “death camp” where Jews were sent to be killed.  You can read about the history of the Jews at Mauthausen on my website here.

I think it is time for the Holocaustians to give up on the Mauthausen gas chamber, which only promotes Holocaust denial.  In my opinion, the morgue should have been left in its original state.

16 Comments »

  1. I’m writing a book about Hana Berger-Moran, who was also born in a camp. She is three weeks older than Eva Clarke and were on the same train to Mauthausen in April 1945. There was a third baby born, on the train — his name is Mark Olsky. The three were “reunited” several years ago when they learned there were other babies born in the same camp and/or train. They always thought they were the only ones. All three were only children and when they discovered one another and met in person, they felt a kinship that has turned into a beautiful sibling relationship. Hana is the oldest, Mark is the middle child, and Eva is the baby. How do I know all of this? Hana is my mother-in-law. Also, I just returned last night from a trip to Austria and Slovakia. We were at the Mauthausen memorial/celebration and I must say, as morbid as it sounds to have a memorial there, it was done tastefully and respectfully and I’m glad it exists. Hana’s baby clothes, made from scraps found in the camp by some of the women prisoners, are on display there.

    Here’s my blog, which is tangentially related to the book I’m writing: http://googlingtheholocaust.wordpress.com/

    Julie Z. Rosenberg
    Brooklyn, NY

    Comment by Julie Z. — May 13, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    • Here’s a link to a BBC piece on “The Miracle Babies of KZ-Mauthausen.”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cambridgeshire/hi/people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/newsid_9377000/9377999.stm

      Comment by Julie Z. — May 13, 2013 @ 5:56 am

      • What is your explanation for why these women were allowed to live, after they became pregnant? Why were they taken to Mauthausen, the last major camp to be liberated? Why weren’t the babies grabbed out of the mother’s arms and their heads bashed against a tree? Does it seem strange to you that these women were allowed to survive, even thought they were pregnant, and their babies were allowed to survive, considering that the Holocaust belief is that the plan was genocide all the Jews?

        Comment by furtherglory — May 13, 2013 @ 10:54 am

        • I asked all the same questions that you posed just now and there are answers to all of them. Much of it was luck and circumstance.

          1. They were able to hide their pregnancies from Mengele (during selection at Auschwitz) and were sent to a labor camp (Freiberg). Also, they were deported near the end of the war (Fall 1944).

          2. They were sent to Mauthausen because it was the only camp with a working gas chamber at that point (late April 1945). Auschwitz had already been liberated (January 1945).

          3. The first baby born (Hana, on 4/12/45) was born two days before the death march by train ride en route to Mauthausen. The Americans and Russians were closing in on the Germans and they were making a desperate attempt to flee. They didn’t want to kill any prisoners in a way that would leave evidence, thus the gas chamber. The second baby (Mark, on 4/20/45) was born on the train. When they arrived at Mauthausen (after a three-week train ride that should have taken a couple days b/c they zigzagged to avoid the approaching American and Russian troops), they were all set to gas them only they’d run out of Zyklon-B the day before when they gassed Gypsies. The third baby (Eva Clarke, 4/29/45) was born when her mother disembarked and immediately went into labor.

          Like I said, a lot of it was luck and circumstance. These three babies (now 68 year olds) didn’t know about one another and when they finally met several years ago, they had very similar stories and details that no one else could have known, thus corroborating their stories. Details about the train ride, the name of the female Jewish pediatrician (also a prisoner) from Prague who helped each of them deliver their babies, etc. Each of them has a birth certificate indicating where they were born, copies of which are in the USHMM and Yad Vashem.

          And finally, it was the end of the war. Eva was born six days before liberation and nine days before the Germans accepted defeat. Just because it seems impossible doesn’t mean it was. They’re all here and have documents that prove their provenance.

          Comment by Julie Z. — May 13, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

    • Thanks for providing a link to your blog. I read your blog post about Margot Woelk. Then I looked her up on Wikipedia. This quote is from Wikipedia: “For decades after the war, Wölk never talked about what happened in Gross-Partsch; however, the experience came to her often in dreams. It wasn’t until December 2012, on her 95th birthday, when a local Berlin journalist from the newspaper Berliner Zeitung paid her a visit and began asking questions, that she spoke about what she calls the worst years of her life.[1] At that very moment, she suddenly decided to break her silence.[3][6]”

      I am suspicious of her story. She waited until her 95th birthday to speak up, even though “the experience came to her often in dreams.” It was only when a “Berlin journalist” paid her a visit and “began asking questions” that the dreams came back to her and “she decided to break her silence.”

      I wish I had a nickel for every Holocaust survivor, and every other person involved in World War II, who decided to break their silence after 50 years. There is no one to vouch for Margot’s story because the 14 other food tasters were shot by the Russians. If she was actually a food taster, it is very likely that she had been arrested as a “resistance fighter.”

      Comment by furtherglory — May 13, 2013 @ 10:48 am

  2. It has come to bother me that every concentration camp has now come to symbolise the suffering of only one group of people
    I hope it might be understood one day that to make the suffering of many under the Nazis only about the Shoa might sadly lead to a disrespect of the story .

    Comment by Rose Nooteboom — May 6, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    • The same thing has happened in America. I did a search on internment camps in America during World War II in Google News and the first three results mentioned only the Japanese Americans, and did not include the German-Americans. This news article is typical: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/Will_Supremes_repudiate_WWII-era_decisions.html

      I was alive during World War II and I knew about the Japanese-Americans being sent to camps because it was in a newsreel that I saw. I didn’t know about the German-Americans who were sent to internment camps until just a few years ago.

      There were a great number of illegal combatants who were sent to camps such as Dachau and Buchenwald, but you rarely hear about them.

      Comment by furtherglory — May 6, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    • You’re a typical Holocaust promoter, Rosie Jewess. You are only able to oppose emotions to hard facts debunking your zionist myth.

      Comment by hermie — May 7, 2013 @ 3:47 am

    • I went to Mauthausen many years ago and I might not remember all the facts, but I think Mauthausen was the concentration camp in which many non-Jews ended up, who were not deemed fit to be part of the Third Reich like homosexuals and political prisoners (anarchists, socialist, etc). I also remember that Mauthausen showed a statistics of these various inmate groups and the signs these groups had to wear to be “identified properly”. So, as far as I remember Mauthausen is a site that symbolizes the sufferings of many groups under the Nazi regime.

      Comment by CT — July 1, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

      • You have remembered the facts correctly. I have a page on my website about the various categories of prisoners at Mauthausen. The first Jewish prisoner at Mauthausen was sent there because he had broken the law under Paragraph 175, not because he was a Jew. http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/History/FirstPrisoners.html Paragraph 175 had been on the books in Germany since 1871.

        Mauthausen DOES symbolize the suffering of men, who were removed from regular prisons, and sent to Mauthausen so that they could work in the quarries. Mauthausen was the main camp for convicted criminals.

        Comment by furtherglory — July 2, 2013 @ 7:52 am

  3. FG wrote: “On the south wall is a sign (not shown in the photo) in several languages which describes how the gas chamber functioned. Next to it on the wall is a private memorial to one of the prisoners who was gassed here.”

    Is there a picture of that sign? Is the text written on it somewhere to be found? If I correctly remember, the Mauthausen alleged gassing procedure was pretty weird.

    Comment by hermie — May 5, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

  4. Here’s a couple of related stories if you’re interested on the subject of babies born in camps

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22383638
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cambridgeshire/hi/people_and_places/religion_and_ethics/newsid_9377000/9377999.stm

    Comment by DB — May 5, 2013 @ 10:53 am


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: