Scrapbookpages Blog

June 17, 2017

The liberation of the Mauthausen camp is in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:07 pm

This photo shows prisoners who were liberated at Auschwitz, not at Mauthausen

The photo above was used to illustrate this news article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-holocaust-didnt-end-with-the-liberation-of-auschwitz-and-the-nazi-death-camps

The following quote is from the news article:

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For more than 70 years, Marsha Kreuzman has believed that she would be better off dead.

Death first promised salvation during her years of physical and psychological torture at the Mauthausen concentration camp as the Second World War devastated Europe.

When the Nazi encampment was liberated in May 1945, an American soldier tried to help her to her feet. Kreuzman recalls: “He said, ‘You have to walk.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to walk, I want to die.’”

Kreuzman, who now lives in Livingston, New Jersey, is sorry that she was not more joyful when the moment of liberation arrived; she is painfully aware that so many of her friends, her compatriots, her family were unable to escape the horror of one of history’s darkest chapters.

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The liberation of Mauthausen

I have a whole section on my website about the liberation of Mauthausen: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Mauthausen/KZMauthausen/Liberation/index.html

The photograph shown above was taken on May 6, 1945, the day after the official liberation of the Mauthausen main camp. It shows prisoners surrounding an M8 Greyhound armored car.

According to Pierre Serge Choumoff, the liberation of Mauthausen, as shown in the photo above, was reenacted for photographers at the request of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Nazi eagle over the gate had already been removed by the prisoners and a banner, written in Spanish, had been put up by the Spanish political prisoners. The English translation reads “The Spanish Anti-Fascists Salute the Liberating Forces.”

These prisoners were Spanish Republicans who had fought against General Francisco Franco’s Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War and had escaped to France when the Republicans lost the war.

The Spanish Republicans were interned by the French and later, when the Germans defeated France in 1940, they were incarcerated as political prisoners because they were opposed to the Nazis. Germany had fought on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War, which was a war between the Fascists and the Communists. For the anti-Fascist Spanish Republicans, Mauthausen has the same significance as Auschwitz does for the Jews.

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.

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