Austria Commemorates the Liberation of the Mauthausen and Gusen Concentration Camps

More+Events ♦ Published: May 3, 2022; 15:48 ♦ (Vindobona)

With a commemorative act on May 4, 2022, the eve of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps Mauthausen and Gusen, the concentration camp memorial Mauthausen remembers the victims of the concentration camp. International representatives, as well as the head of the Austrian government will be present at the commemoration ceremony.

The commemorative act will take place on May 4, 2022, the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps. / Picture: © BMI Bundesministerium für Inneres / Jürgen Makowecz

Representatives of the victim countries as well as victim groups, survivor organizations and regional memorial initiatives will commemorate the dead of the concentration camps Mauthausen and Gusen this year on May 4, the eve of the anniversary of their liberation.

Together with the Austrian state leadership, they want to draw attention to the more than 35,000 people who were murdered and pay their respects to the approximately 70,000 prisoners from almost 30 nations who were imprisoned in the branch camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp between the years 1940 and 1945.

Further development of the commemorative culture

The commemorative act will take place at the former roll call site of the Gusen concentration camp, which was recently purchased by the Republic of Austria together with other plots of land at the former camp site.

In the coming years, these plots are to be designed with the involvement of international, national and regional interest groups and integrated into the existing Gusen Memorial. Based on its expertise, the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial was commissioned to conduct a participation process for the creation of a concept.

With this event on May 4, 2022, the federal government is signaling that the Republic is willing to fulfill its responsibility for a dignified commemoration of the Gusen concentration camp and its victims.

The Austrian Federal President Alexander van der Bellen, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Minister of the Interior Karner and other members of the Federal Government as well as representatives of the parliamentary clubs will take part in the commemoration ceremony.

Art installation

Following the commemorative act at the former roll call site, the light and sound installation "#eachnamematters" will be shown at the Memorial Gusen in cooperation with the Ars Electronica Center Linz.

The names of the victims of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp system will be projected onto the outer wall of the Memorial and read out at the same time. The installation will also be on display on May 5 and 6, 2022, each after dark until midnight.

History of Gusen

The Gusen concentration camp quickly fell into oblivion in Austria after 1945. A housing estate was built on parts of the former camp site, while others were used for commercial purposes.

International survivors' organizations had a memorial built around the surviving crematorium furnace in the 1960s. Since 1997, the Republic of Austria has been responsible for the Memorial Gusen. The memorial is now to be expanded to include the newly purchased plots of land on which the gravel crusher and two former SS administration buildings are located in addition to the roll call site.

BMI - Ministry of the Interior - Bundesministerium fuer Inneres