Scrapbookpages Blog

January 25, 2017

The stairs of death at Mauthausen

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:00 am
My photo of the Mauthausen starirs of death

My photo of the Mauthausen stairs of death

This morning, when I checked the stats for my blog, I found that there were many readers who are going to my web pages about the Mauthausen concentration camp.  You can follow the link below to my website.

I read a news article today, dated January 19th, 2017 about Mauthausen which you can read here.  My photo, shown above, was used in the Gallery section of the news article, but no photo credit was given to me, nor to my website.  The link below takes you directly to the Gallery section of the article.

My photo of the Monument for the Jews at Mauthausen

My photo of the Monument for the Jews at Mauthausen

I took the photo above, during a light rain. The photo looks like a painting, but it is not.

Here’s the true story about Mauthausen:

The Mauthausen concentration camp was a Class III camp where prisoners who were classified as “Return undesired” were sent.

It was a punishment camp where the inmates had to do hard time in a rock quarry. Those on the punishment detail had to carry granite boulders up these steep stairs on their backs once a day.

The photo below shows the sign that is on the wall on the left of the photo above.

Sign on the wall at the bottom of the stairs

Sign on the wall at the bottom of the stairs

Here is the translation of the words on the sign:

Begin translation

Prisoners from different nationalities worked here. Under the most primitive safety precaution,they longed for the biggest job performance with big brutality.

There, you even had the best chance to liquidate the prisoners in the fastest way.

With a often over 50 kg heavy stone on the back, in double quick and under constant hits chased around in the quarry the victim soon broke down, to die helpless in any corner of the quarry.

End translation

The 186 steps on the “Stairs of Death” in the Mauthausen quarry are not as steep as you might think. They have been redone so that tourists can easily climb up and down them.

The steps are evenly spaced and there are rest stops, one near the bottom and several near the top. There is no handrail, but there is a stone wall on each side for most of the climb.

When I visited the camp, I hired a taxi to take me to the bottom of the stairs, so that I could climb up the stairs. All the other tourists were climbing down the stairs and then back up. I didn’t want to risk climbing down the stairs and falling all the way down.

My photo of the granite stairs at Mauthausen

My photo of granite stairs at Mauthausen


  1. The following piece of testimony comes from a notable Mauthausen inmate who recounted his own experience while descending these “stairs of death”. He was a Polish military doctor, no less – named Antoni Goscinski.

    ” The Germans were not satisfied with the pace of work on the camp and the guards would beat up the prisoners as they went up and down the mountain. On one particular day Dr. Goscinski was coming down with a very large stone when a guard hit him several times with an iron rod on the hip and arm. He was hit so hard that he was bleeding everywhere, and his hip and arm were broken. Somehow he still managed to continue on with the rock and was met at the bottom by another guard who hit him again and the force threw him up in the air and he landed on the ground. He decided life was not worth living and he crawled over to an electric fence and touched it, but the power was not on. He was stunned. ”

    ” At that point someone he knew outside of the camp from years before recognized him and took him off the fence and cared for him. He was able to get him lighter work. He still needed medical care, so his friend hid Dr. Goscinski’s body on a cart of corpses headed to be cremated at the main camp of Mauthausen. He was sure he would not survive this ploy, but once in the main camp a Protestant German priest found him in the corpse pile. The priest cared for him and found out he was a doctor. After some time, the priest was able to get him special treatment as a doctor in the camp. He was ordered back to medical service and conducted urine and blood analysis for the Germans.”

    Now, during the years following the end of WW2, this kind of story given by someone as highly esteemed as a medical doctor would have held the general public spellbound. The world would believe it without question – the war was terrible; the death and destruction was on a colossal scale; and back then the words of a “doctor” were sacrosanct. In addition, the Nazis were routinely being labelled as cruel, horrific monsters, and thus this kind of account was simply accepted as true, and has been duly handed down to us through the years.

    But today, we can simply sit back and laugh at this kind of fairy tale. Firstly, because doctors today are not held with the same degree of reverence as they were back then. Secondly, the huge time interval between then and now has mellowed us all, and we can look back at events with a more detached perspective. People employ their critical faculties much more today, rather than just accept wartime narratives and testimonials as divine truth.

    It is obvious that no one could possibly climb down those steps carrying a heavy boulder after having both his arm and his hip broken by an iron bar. And his account of the power not being switched on as he threw himself on the electrified fence is an absolute hoot !

    Comment by Talbot — January 25, 2017 @ 1:34 pm

    • You wrote: “It is obvious that no one could possibly climb down those steps carrying a heavy boulder…”

      The prisoners did not climb DOWN those steps carrying a heavy boulder. The prisoners who were in the “punishment company” because they had committed a crime before they were sent to this camp, carried a boulder UP the stairs at the end of the work day.

      The boulders were put on barges on the river that was below the stairs and taken down the river. I have photos of this and information about it on my website.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 25, 2017 @ 2:13 pm

  2. The “Monument to the Jews” at Mauthausen is certainly a very impressive – if rather ugly – edifice; but that is “par for the course” when it comes to holo-memorials. But I just wondered what the small monument alongside it represents. Does this commemorate all the non-Jewish victims of Mauthausen.

    Maybe this was added as an afterthought, to let the goyim have their own little memorial under the shadow of the dominant one – which exclusively represents only the truly righteous victims.

    Comment by Talbot — January 25, 2017 @ 10:45 am

    • You wrote: “I just wondered what the small monument alongside it represents.”

      You are referring to the small monument on the left side of the large monument to the Jews who died at Mauthausen.

      I don’t know what this small monument represents, but I am pretty sure that it does not represent the non-Jews who died at Mauthausen.

      There have been many complaints about the Jewish monument because it is at the end of the road that leads to all the monuments. People have complained because it obstructs the view of the countryside and because it is in the most prominent spot, even though there was only a small number of Jews who died there. There are many other monuments in this location.

      Mauthausen was a punishment camp for prisoners, not a camp for Jews. But the Jews took the most prominent spot.

      Comment by furtherglory — January 25, 2017 @ 2:04 pm

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