Travel to the Austrian Danube

Day 6 Linz - Mauthausen - Badesee Steyregg - Linz

Austrian Danube


 

(in 25 km) Mauthausen: This day we parked the bikes and drive with our Austrian friends, to visit the concentration camp of Mauthausen. Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp was the hub of a large group of Nazi concentration camps that was built around the villages of Mauthausen and Sankt Georgen an der Gusen (Gusen). As at other Nazi concentration camps, the inmates at Mauthausen-Gusen were forced to work as slave labour, under conditions that caused many deaths. The subcamps of the Mauthausen complex included quarries, munitions factories, mines, arms factories and plants assembling Me 262 fighter aircraft.

Mauthausen concentration camp
Mauthausen concentration camp

In January 1945, the camps contained roughly 85,000 inmates. The death toll remains unknown, although most sources place it between 122,766 and 320,000 for the entire complex. The Mauthausen-Gusen camp was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies. The two main camps, Mauthausen and Gusen I, were labelled as "Grade III" (Stufe III) camps, which meant that they were intended to be the toughest camps for the "Incorrigible political enemies of the Reich". Mauthausen never lost this Stufe III classification.

Mauthausen - Crematorium ovens
Mauthausen - Crematorium ovens

On 9 August 1938, prisoners from Dachau concentration camp near Munich were sent to the town of Mauthausen in Austria, to begin the construction of a new slave labour camp. The site was chosen because of the nearby granite quarry, and its proximity to Linz. Unlike many other concentration camps, which were intended for all categories of prisoners, Mauthausen was mostly used for extermination through labour of the intelligentsia – educated people and members of the higher social classes in countries subjugated by the Nazi regime during World War II. The main camp of the complex in Mauthausen is now a museum, some of its subcamps also turned into memorials.

Mauthausen - Stairs of Death
Mauthausen - "Stairs of Death"

The camp served the needs of the German war machine and also carried out extermination through labour. When the inmates were totally exhausted after having worked in the quarries for 12 hours a day, or if they were too ill or too weak to work, they were then transferred to the Revier ("Krankenrevier", sick barrack) or other places for extermination. The rock quarry in Mauthausen was at the base of the infamous "Stairs of Death". Prisoners were forced to carry roughly-hewn blocks of stone – often weighing as much as 50 kilograms (110 lb) – up the 186 stairs, one prisoner behind the other. As a result, many exhausted prisoners collapsed in front of the other prisoners in the line, and then fell on top of the other prisoners, creating a horrific domino effect.

Badesee Steyregg
Badesee Steyregg

(in 15 km) Badesee Steyregg: Day turned to be very hot, so we decided to dedicate the evening to freshen up in the Badesee Steyregg. It is a small lake ready for recess. Admission charge. It has changing cabins, showers, platforms in the water, etc.

(in 10 km) Linz: After dinner at home of Didi´s parents, we returned to our apartment in this city.


 

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Austrian Danube