Gedenkstätte Mauthausen

I had prepared myself for the worst, but what I saw was more than I could have imagined.  From the moment we arrived, I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the fortress and the fact that what I was seeing was what 90,000 people who died here had seen. It is an eerie feeling that I will never forget.

Julian Venier


Der Ausflug zu den Gedenkstätten und dem Konzentrationslager Mauthausen war eine bedrückende, aber auch wichtige Erfahrung, die wir im Dezember im Rahmen des Nationalsozialismus-Kurses gemacht haben. Wir hatten gewisse Erwartungen und Vorwissen aus Erzählungen oder historischen Filmen. Man hört Zahlen und versucht, sie sich vorzustellen: 30 Menschen, 100, 1000 oder ein gefülltes Fußballstadion. Man kann sich das alles noch vorstellen, zumindest ansatzweise. Als wir dann zu den Räumen kamen, in denen die Namen der Opfer geschrieben waren, wurde uns bewusst, dass das Ausmaß der Grausamkeiten unvorstellbar war. Es war erschreckend zu realisieren, wie normalisiert das Camp mit seinem Fußballteam und den grausamen täglichen Ereignissen war. Schlussendlich ist es jedoch sinnvoll, die verbliebene Realität von damals mit entsprechender Begleitung aufzuarbeiten und zu verstehen, wie es zu all dem kommen konnte.

Miriam Ungerböck


Although the trip to Linz was not aesthetically pleasing due to the historical sites visited, I found it enjoyable. Linz is a beautiful city and I appreciated learning new facts about Austria’s history. It was important to visit this place and I am glad we did.

My expectation was to gain knowledge about the war, which was fulfilled. I was unaware of places like ‘Hartheim’ prior to this visit. I was aware of the concept of ‘Unwertes Leben’, but I was not aware of the organized and strategic mass-murder of people with disabilities.

The information was shocking. The former concentration camp was particularly affecting. The experience of walking through the site, viewing images of those who were held captive and perished, and witnessing the locations where prisoners were mistreated, tortured, and killed was emotionally chilling. It would be interesting to conduct further research on the survival rates of those who were freed or escaped.

The individual stories of those affected had a profound impact on me. One individual was subjected to standing in freezing temperatures while SS members poured cold water over him until he froze to death. Additionally, there is the account of 500 people attempting to escape, with only 11 surviving. After returning home, the experience felt like a fever dream, and the surreal nature of the events is still difficult to comprehend.

It is unfathomable how anyone could commit such atrocities. I would not have wanted to miss this experience. The Second World War and all connected events are important to remember. It is recommended that anyone who gets the chance should educate themselves and visit one of the Gedenkstätten.

Lena Peschl

I think the trip to Mauthausen was definitely worth it! In my opinion, hearing all the stories, all the details and all the insights in the classroom is very different to actually seeing what happened in a real place where you can see how unbearable life really was and especially because it was winter we were able to get an idea of how hard it must have been, although no one will ever know the true extent of the pain and horror the inmates must have experienced. I particularly appreciated the guide, who was able to answer all our questions in detail and in a way that told the many stories of the remaining buildings, while also highlighting the inhumane events that took place wherever we went.

Julian Venier

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.