Scrapbookpages Blog

June 3, 2016

the Stone Stairs of Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 7:59 am
My photo of the Stairs of Death at Mauthausen

My photo of the Stairs of Death at the Mauthausen camp

For the past several days, one of my previous blog posts, about the Stairs of Death at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial Site, has been getting lots of hits: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/stairs-of-death-todesstiege-the-186-steps-at-mauthausen/

I knew that something must be going on, but what? Why the sudden interest in something that I wrote 5 years ago?

Today, I decided to do a search on this, and I found that there is a Facebook page for the “Stone Stairs”. I googled it and learned that the Facebook page is NOT about the stairs at Mauthausen, but about a place in Savanah, Georgia.

You can read more about this at

http://www.savannahmagazine.com/2015/04/17/throwing-stones/

Regarding my photo at the top of the page, I know what you are thinking. How did I get this photo with no teen-aged tourists running up and down the stairs. I got up very early in the morning and called a cab. The driver took me to the bottom of the stairs where I took the photo.  Then I climbed UP the stairs with no teenagers, running up and down, trying to knock me down.

View from the top of the stairs

My photo of the view from the top of the stairs at the Mauthausen quarry

I had gone to see the Stairs of Death the previous day and I had decided that it was too dangerous to climb down the stairs because of all the rowdy teenagers running up and down. As I looked down from the top, I saw a tour bus parked at the bottom of the stairs. The guidebooks don’t tell you this.

A tour bus is shown on the left. The stairs are shown on the right

A tour bus is shown on the left. The stairs are shown on the far right hand side

Before going to Mauthausen, I had read many guidebooks about the camp, but none of them mentioned that you can take a taxi to the place at the bottom of the stairs.

In doing my research on this subject, I found many web pages about the Stairs of Death at Mauthausen. Most of them mentioned that the prisoners had to make many trips each day, carrying heavy boulders out of the camp. Actually, it was only the prisoners, who were being punished for breaking the rules in the camp, that had to carry one boulder up the stairs at the end of each day. The boulders were put on barges, on the river below the stairs, and hauled away.

My photo of the long steep climb out of the quarry

My photo of the long steep climb out of the Mauthausen quarry

After you climb up the stairs, all the way to the top, there is still a long steep road to climb, as shown in my photo below.

Rocky road to the top

Rocky road to the top of the quarry

The prisoners who were in the “punishment company” had to carry a large stone in a back pack like the one shown in my photo below.

Stone carrier used at Mauthausen

Stone carrier used at Mauthausen