Mauthausen

Julianna Soto

Overview of Holocaust

From 1933-1945, the Holocaust was a time period in Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, who mass murdered over six million people, especially Jews, by the hands of other Nazis who served him.

Defintion/Background Information

It was a labor camp located about three miles from the town of Mauthausen in northern Austria. Mauthausen held nearly 1,000 prisoners by the end of 1938. Estimated total 197,474 prisoners between August 1938 and May 1945. More than 14,000 were Jewish. Death rate among non-Jews were 2% a month, but for Jews was 100%. Conditions at Mauthausen were so severe that other inmates dreaded being sent there. Prisoners were sent to work twelve hours a day, and were forced to work with their hands or primitive tools. When inmates can no longer work, they were killed in gas chambers and cremated in ovens.

Original Research Question

What were the horrors of Mauthausen?

The Mauthausen authorities began to use gas as a killing method in 1941-1942. The gas chamber could kill with the capacity of 80 people at a time. Mauthausen used prisoners as test subjects. Medical experiments, including testing levels of testosterone, experimenting with delousing chemicals, medicines for tuberculosis, and nutrition experiments. Hermann Richter was one of the camp physicians who surgically removed organs, such as the stomach, liver, or kidneys to determine long a prisoner can survive without them. Eduard Krebsbach killed an undetermined number of prisoners by injecting them with phenol directly into their hearts.

Quote

"And then he simply froze in place, the shock, the horror on his face, he didn't weep, he didn't cry, but deep within his gentle eyes,... a flood of devastating pain, his innocence forever slain." -Sonia Schreiber Weitz, "My Black Messiah"

Sonia Schreiber Weitz, a survivor of Mauthausen was liberated on May 5, 1945, gazed into the horror filled eyes of a black American soldier, who she describe him as her "Black Messiah."

Citation

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"The Holocaust." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. History: War. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Research in Context. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

"Mauthausen." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

"Mauthausen: Killing Operations." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 29 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.