Note the eagle over the gate into the Mauthausen camp. This eagle was pulled down by the prisoners in the camp when they liberated themselves on May 5, 1945. The photo below shows some of the prisoners re-enacting the pulling down of the eagle emblem on May 6, 1945.
One of my very first blog posts, six years ago, was about the liberation of the Mauthausen camp in Austria:
Yesterday, I read a new version of the liberation of Mauthausen, as told by 90-year-old Army veteran William Phelps.
The following quote is from the news article about Phelps:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) William Phelps wore a first sergeant’s stripes at the unlikely age of 19 as a World War II tank gunner, heard Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s unvarnished opinions over lunch one day and made the cover of Yank Magazine in 1945 in a memorable photo, patching his trousers with a sewing machine in front of a tank.
But his most important day in Europe was in liberating a Nazi extermination camp in Austria.
Outside Linz, [Austria] Phelps and two dozen soldiers entering the Mauthausen concentration camp 71 years ago last week were stunned at the sight of dead, dying and emaciated prisoners. The Americans saw German guards in the distance running for their lives, prisoners killing some of them with rocks and clubs.
Note that the article does not say that Phelps was with the 11th Armored Division, which was the division which arrived at Mauthausen the day after the prisoners had liberated themselves.
Several years ago, I visited the former Mauthausen camp and the town of Mauthausen. I have a whole section about Mauthausen on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/index.html
I have a section about the history of the camp at: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/History/index.html
Start by reading this page:
I have a section about the town of Mauthausen at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/Town/index.html