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May 5, 2013

A new Holocaust exhibit has just opened in the creepy morgue of the Mauthausen concentration camp

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:12 am

Today is March 5th, the anniversary of the official liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz, Austria, so of course, I searched the news to see if there is a big celebration going on. Sure enough, I found this news article with the headline Austria Faces Past in Nazi Camp’s New Museum.

This quote is from the news article:

….a new visitor centre open to the public from Monday that tells the dark story of Austria’s main “KZ” and its subcamps between 1938 and 1945. […]

The two new permanent exhibitions, housed in the original buildings, recreate this not only with the interviews but also dozens of original objects that speak volumes about life — and death — at Mauthausen.  […]

Another new installation at Mauthausen is the “Room of Names”, where the 81,007 people documented to have died there are inscribed on horizontal glass panels in the camp’s chilly — and chilling — former mortuary.

Excuse me …. I cannot think of anything worse than putting a “Room of Names” in the smelly, creepy morgue room at Mauthausen.  Did the creators of this exhibit somehow clean up the morgue and get the smell out, so that visitors can read the names of the people who died in the camp?

The photo below shows the Mauthausen hospital on the left and the green bunker building, where the gas chamber and the morgue are located, on the right.

Hospital on the left and Bunker on the right

Hospital on the left and Bunker on the right

The photo below, which I took on my trip to Mauthausen in 2003, shows the entrance to the Leichen Raum  (corpse room in English) which is located in the basement of the bunker. In the background, on the left, you can see the execution spot where prisoners were hanged.

Sign on the wall directs visitors to morgue room at Mauthausen

Sign on the wall in the bunker directs visitors to morgue room at Mauthausen concentration camp

May 2003 photo of Mauthausen morgue

May 2003 photo of Mauthausen morgue

The photo above was taken with flash; the morgue was almost completely dark when I walked through it in 2003.

The only reason that I went through this creepy room was to follow the water pipe which goes through the wall of the morgue into the hallway and then into the gas chamber, thus proving that the gas chamber is actually a shower room.

Water pipe goes through wall of morgue into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Water pipe goes through wall of morgue into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Of course, the gas chamber at Mauthausen could have been a multi-purpose room where the prisoners could take a shower, or be gassed to death with Zyklon-B.  The walls of the shower room do not show any blue stains from Zyklon-B use, but those clever Nazis could have scrubbed the tile walls clean.

Door into Mauthausen gas chamber shows water pipe going from morgue into the gas chamber

Door into Mauthausen gas chamber with water pipe going from morgue into hallway and then into the gas chamber

Same door in the open position

Same door in the open position

The photo above shows the door on the south wall of the gas chamber in the open position. To the right of the door is a water pipe that goes through the morgue and into the gas chamber. Note the sparkling clean white tile on the wall of the gas chamber.  How did those clever Nazis get the blue stains out of the grout?

In my personal opinion, it was a big mistake to turn the Mauthausen morgue into Museum space.  This is no way to honor the prisoners who died at Mauthausen.  Taking tourists into the former morgue only calls attention to the water pipes going into the gas chamber, something you don’t want to know if you are a True Believer.

Two doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber

Two doors into the Mauthausen gas chamber

The photo above shows the two doors into the interior of the Mauthausen gas chamber.  The west wall of the gas chamber is on the right; visitors can go through this door into the gas chamber without going through the former morgue, which has the new exhibit.

The door on the left, in the photo, is on the south wall of the gas chamber.  The gassing apparatus, which was behind the south wall, was removed by the SS men when they left the camp a few days before the camp was liberated. The south wall was put back into original condition by the SS and no traces of the gassing apparatus can be seen today.

On the south wall  is a sign (not shown in the photo) in several languages which describes how the gas chamber functioned. Next to it on the wall is a private memorial to one of the prisoners who was gassed here.

The Mauthausen gas chamber ceiling is 7.8 feet high and the white ceramic tile on the walls only goes part of the way up the wall. The floor is glazed brick. The door on the right leads to the corpse room, a single crematory oven, the autopsy room and the execution spot. The door on the left opens into a hallway in which a poster, showing a can of Zyklon-B is displayed.

Mauthausen was not a “death camp” where Jews were sent to be killed.  You can read about the history of the Jews at Mauthausen on my website here.

I think it is time for the Holocaustians to give up on the Mauthausen gas chamber, which only promotes Holocaust denial.  In my opinion, the morgue should have been left in its original state.