The photo above shows Pal Ferenczi, a 93-year-old survivor of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria; he recently returned to visit the Memorial Site at the former camp. You can read about it here; the article includes this quote: “Mauthausen was the only category III concentration camp – which means it had the most brutal conditions, according to the memorial’s website. Nearly 200,000 people were taken to the camp, and half of them died there.”
This quote is from the news article about Ferenczi’s visit to Mauthausen:
Passing an empty room, he recalled how corpses would be stacked on top of each other there, waiting to be burned in the furnace. At the gas chamber, he told his family how 50 men would be shoved into the tiny room to die. Terrified victims left scratch marks on the door.
The photo above shows the inside of one of the two doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber, as Pal Ferenczi enters the room. The object on the right hand side, just above the peephole, is what is left of the door handle, which has had the actual handle removed. When prisoners took a shower in this room, it was possible for them to turn a handle and open the door to get out of the room.
When I visited Mauthausen a few years ago, I didn’t notice the scratch marks on the door of the gas chamber. I took the photo below, which shows the same door into the gas chamber. There is a peephole in the center of the door which has some white marks around it, but I don’t think that these are scratch marks.
Mauthausen was the only Class III camp in the Nazi concentration camp system. It was a punishment camp where prisoners were rarely ever released. I have an extensive section about Mauthausen on my website, which you can read here. You can read about the Jewish prisoners at Mauthausen on my website here — this page is a MUST read.
Mauthausen was the first Nazi concentration camp to receive foreign prisoners; it was not a camp that was particularly for Austrians, nor was it a camp that was specifically designed for killing the Jews. It was mainly a camp for resistance fighters from Nazi occupied countries, such as France, Hungary and the Netherlands, and for German “career criminals.”
Pal Ferenczi was undoubtedly sent to Mauthausen because he was fighting as an illegal combatant in the Hungarian Resistance. On his trip back to visit the camp, he was photographed as he stood near the Monument to the Hungarian Resistance fighters.
On his visit to Mauthausen, Ferenczi visited the former morgue, which has been converted into a room where the names of the victims who died at Mauthausen are engraved. The photo below shows Ferenczi on his visit to this room.
When I visited the Mauthausen camp, I took the photo below, which shows the former morgue before it was converted into a Memorial room. Note the two posts which are the same in both photos.
I took the morgue photo below, because it shows a water pipe which goes into the gas chamber room.
Why would a gas chamber need water pipes? The Mauthausen gas chamber was a multi-purpose room where prisoners could take a shower with water coming through real shower heads, or they could be gassed with Zyklon-B which came through a special device that has since been removed.
The article about the visit of Pal Ferenczi to Mauthausen includes a photo which shows the first crematory oven. When I visited Mauthausen, I was told that the first crematory oven was the oven that is shown in my photo below.