Scrapbookpages Blog

October 16, 2015

Born Survivors at Mauthausen camp…it’s in the book

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:47 am

For the last few days, my blog posts about Mauthausen have been getting lots of hits, and I have been unable to determine why there is a sudden interest in Mauthausen, the only Class III camp in Nazi concentration camp system.

I have searched and searched the news, and finally I have learned what is going on:  The book entitled Born Survivors is being promoted anew.

Book about Holocaust suvivors who were born in the Mauthausen camp

Book about Holocaust survivors who were born in the Mauthausen concentration camp

You can read my previous blog post about the book at https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/new-book-by-wendy-holden-tells-about-new-born-babies-who-survived-the-holocaust/

This quote is from the news article:

Begin quote:

The story starts in the [year] 1945. Mark Olsky’s mother was packed into a rail car that was headed to Mauthausen – a concentration camp in Austria. She knew death was waiting for her. While en route, she gave birth to Mark.

“They left Freiberg on April 12, 1945. They arrived at Mauthausen on April 29. The gas chambers at Mauthausen were operating until April 28. So, if that train would have made it in 15 or 16 days instead of 17 days, we would have just been crammed into the gas chamber and gassed,” said Olsky.

End quote from the news article

Wait a minute!  I don’t understand this.  Did those mean ole Nazis wait until just days before a concentration camp inmate was ready to give birth before sending her to a death camp to be gassed? Why wasn’t she gassed as soon as it became known that she was pregnant?

Mauthausen gas chamber had two doors into the room

Mauthausen gas chamber had two doors into the room

Continue reading the news article:

Begin quote:

Olsky is alive because of an American soldier who stumbled upon the concentration camp. Albert Kosiek and his men were responsible for checking the quality of bridges in Austria. Mauthausen was one of the last operational camps in Europe. The soldier’s son is now telling the story of how his father freed 40,000 prisoners – including Mark and his mother – with just 23 men.

“The way we learned about his story is he had written a letter to his mother explaining what he had found when he liberated the camp in Austria,” said Larry Kosiek. “That letter was then rewritten in the newsletter for the 11th armored division. It became one of their newsletters in 1953. So that’s about eight years later.”

Olsky was just three weeks old when he and his mother were freed because of Larry’s father. Olsky moved to the U.S. when he was a teen and eventually went on to become a doctor. For the last 30 years, he’s called Madison home.

End Quote

I wrote about Albert Kosiek and the liberation of Mauthausen on this previous blog post:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-liberation-of-mauthausen-may-5-1945/

This quote is from my previous blog post, cited above:

On May 5, 1945, the date usually given for the official liberation of the Mauthausen main concentration camp, a platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army, led by Staff Sgt. Albert J. Kosiek, arrived at the main camp near the town of Mauthausen. They were guided there by Louis Haefliger, a Red Cross representative in the camp, and two German soldiers, after first liberating the Gusen sub-camp, 6 kilometers to the west.

Haefliger had taken it upon himself to go out and find American soldiers fighting in the area. He brought them first to the Gusen sub-camp because of the rumors that Hitler had instructed Ernst Kaltenbrunner to give the order to kill all the prisoners by blowing them up in the underground tunnels of the munitions factories there.

After the prisoners in the Gusen sub-camp were released by the American liberators, fighting broke out among the inmates and over 500 of the prisoners were brutally killed by their fellow inmates, according to Sgt. Kosiek. The platoon of American soldiers was unable to control the released prisoners, so they left the Gusen camp and proceeded to the main camp, where the Communist prisoners were already organized into an International Committee that was ready to take control.

In my humble opinion, Albert Kosiek is being given too much credit for saving this mother and her baby.

This quote is from my previous blog post about the liberation of Mauthausen:

Robert Abzug wrote in his book, Inside the Vicious Heart, that after Commandant Franz Ziereis handed over the administration of the  Mauthausen camp on May 2, 1945 to a captain in the Vienna Police, leaving only a small group of SS men to help guard the camp, the prisoners organized resistance operations and began to sabotage the factories. But there was nothing the resistance movement in Mauthausen and the Gusen sub-camp could do about the lack of food, medicine and clothing in the camps. In the chaos of the final days of the war, the transportation system had broken down and everything was in short supply.

Abzug wrote that, until the American liberators arrived, “the camps festered in dirt and disease. Thousands of prisoners died. Conditions were especially appalling among the latest transported prisoners. These men and women had survived Auschwitz, Dachau and forced marches – only to perish at Mauthausen in the final week of the war.”

The pregnant women who arrived at Mauthausen in the last days of the war, had been in Auschwitz and other camps until they were marched out in order to save their lives.  Pregnant women were not taken to Mauthausen to be gassed in a gas chamber, which looks suspiciously like a shower room.

Sign on the wall of the Mauthausen gas chamber

Sign on the wall of the Mauthausen gas chamber tells how the gas chamber worked

Update 1:15 p.m. today

This quote is from a news article which you can read in full at http://www.thelocal.at/20150327/doctor-71-sentenced-for-holocaust-denial

Begin quote:

A 71-year-old doctor from Upper Austria has been sentenced to one year’s house arrest for Holocaust denial.
On Thursday a jury at Linz Court unanimously agreed that a letter the doctor had sent to the local council and the administration of the Mauthausen concentration camp memorial site proved that he believed that the gas chambers and the systematic genocidal killing had been made up.

The man, from the Mühlviertel region, wrote that he became convinced after visiting the Mauthausen site that the gas chambers had never existed and that therefore the Holocaust “must be a lie made up by Zionist bankers, who are still up to their mischief in Israel and the ‘Arab Spring’”.
The defendant pleaded not guilty and said that he had only been trying to uncover the truth. He said that whilst he was at Mauthausen he noticed that there was no gas pipe leading to the gas chamber, and he could find no explanation of why this was so.

The head of the Mauthausen Memorial appeared as a witness and described in detail to the 71-year-old how SS men had removed the gas pipes shortly before the camp was liberated in 1945. He said that historic records proved this was the case, and that it was clearly visible that the area where the pipes had been had been plastered over.

End quote

So that’s what happened.  The gas pipes were removed from the Mauthausen gas chamber before the Mauthausen camp was liberated.  Actually, I wrote about the gas pipes on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/Gas%20Chamber/ApparatusRoom.html