"MAUTHAUSEN - 186 steps to death" Top 5 Page for this destination Mauthausen by Diana75

Mauthausen Travel Guide: 44 reviews and 124 photos

Who could ever think that this peaceful Austrian town lodged once a place of so much pain?

Located 20 km away from Linz, the little town of Mauthausen was the point were in August 1938 Himmler decided to build a new concentration camp in order to supply slave labor for the Wiener Graben stone quarry.

Mauthausen was classified as "category three camp", the most violent one and was mostly used for extermination through labor of educated people from the countries subjugated by Germany during World War II.

The estimated number of prisoners brought to Mauthausen was of 335,000, most of them being forced to do hard labor in a rock quarry.

By the time of liberation, in May 1945, the estimated number of victims was approximately 150,000, but the SS officers destroyed the evidences and only approximately 40,000 victims could have been identified.

The rock quarry was at the base of the "186 stairs of death".

Prisoners were forced to carry enormous rocks up the 186 stairs, one behind the other, in a long line.

Due to the exhaustion, when one prisoner fell, a shocking domino effect was created.

The prisoners who survived to this were forced to stay in a line at the edge of a cliff known as "The Parachute Jump".

Each of them had the option of being shot or push the prisoner in front of the cliff.

In the summer time the wake up hour was 4:45 am, while in the winter was 5:15 am, and the working day ended at 7 pm.

The prisoners were divided into two groups: one hacking into the granite and the other carrying the rocks up the 186 steps to the top of the quarry.

Beside the terrifying 186 steps, another killing methods used in Mauthausen included: gas chambers, freezing showers (the prisoners died hypothermia), medical experiments or hanging.

Today's Mauthausen Concentration Camp is a monument which should never let us forget the pain of our ancestors.

  • Last visit to Mauthausen: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 10, 2006
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Reviews (15)

Comments (8)

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    Sobering. Troubling. Maddening. Gripping. Heartbreaking. This is an excellent historical page, Diana. Can you believe there are still animals in this world who deny the holocaust? The world needs to keep paying attention to Mauthausen and the past.

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2007 at 7:58 AM

    As child my wife and I experienced the Nazi occupation. We visited Mauthausen and went down and up the steps. There we felt the horror of a KZ. We could not imagine that the original steps were even more difficult to climb!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2007 at 6:47 AM

    Very interesting and touching page I have to visit. My grandfather was killed in Mauthausen at young age. We have only short info from the Swiss Red Cross about what happened to him in 1944.

  • doug48's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2006 at 9:42 PM

    a very comprehensive page. i visited mauthausen a couple of years ago. a chilling experience. doug48

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2006 at 4:42 AM

    Very sobering page Diana. A reminder of what took place here a mere 60 years ago and what cruelty man can inflict on one another.

  • alancollins's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    It difficult to comprehend how people from a cultured nation can be so cruel.

  • Fam.Rauca's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2006 at 10:52 PM

    O pagina impresionanta, care vorbeste despre adevarul crud al razboiului si care arata oribila fata a acestor vremi trecute. Este bine sa vedem astfel de imagini, sa evitam RAUL si sa ne bucuram de BINE. Multumesc pentru informatiile valoroase. Gabriela

  • filipdebont's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2006 at 2:18 PM

    A black page in the European History book . . . - This may never happen again.

Diana75

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