At Mauthausen, a small Austrian village on the Danube just a few kilometres from Linz, in 1938, immediately after Germanys annexation of Austria, a concentration camp for opponents of the Nazi regime was established. The site was chosen in order to exploit, through the prisoners forced labour, vast granite deposits. From 8 August 1938 to 5 May 1945, over more than six years of operation, 200,000 deportees were sent to Mauthausen and its auxiliary camps; at least 120,000 60% of the total died there. Reading the history of this camp allows the reader to review the development of the terrible internment system built by the Nazis. A site of oppression, exploitation, and extermination, Mauthausen was a source of suffering for anti-Fascists, partisans, Jews, and prisoners of war rounded up throughout Europe. This book tells the entire story of Mauthausen: how and why it was built, who was detained there, how prisoners lived and died. It is a striking but matter-of-fact story, that offers readers a description of historical events that can never be too well-known.
Giuseppe Mayda is a journalist and historian.