Darkness in Austria's History

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Jul 18, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Lower Austria,
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yesterday we visited and toured the former concentration camp, Mauthausen, close by to Linz.  We left at 10:15am and it was about a 25 minute drive by bus.

As soon as we pulled up over the hill and the concentration camp was in view I seriously got goosebumps. It was so big and actually seeing it was really eery.

We had a guided 2-hour tour, but sadly I didn't find the tour guide all that great. He spoke really quietly and I could hardly hear him. He said he was sick and he acted like he really didn't want to be there. We also toured a lot outside and I would have rather went in and looked around. We walked around the memorials outside the camp, but honestly I can't tell you  much about them since I couldn't really hear the guy. We saw the long set of stairs up and down the mountain that was used to punish the prisoners. They had to carry large stones up to the top 15 times a day, running. He said many died doing this because they had not been fed and didn't have the energy to do the task, and then would be beaten for their inability.

We went inside one building which had the laundry room and showers. Working in the laundry room was the most desired job at the camp. Even this room, one that didn't serve a horrible purpose, was creepy to be inside.

We walked around more outside and after this we had about 30 minutes of free time to wander and look around ourselves.

In this time I went to the building where the gas chamber and cremetory was. The gas chamber was rather small, but being inside gave me more goosebumps knowing so many people died in there. A few rooms down was the crematory where two cremators were. Now there are memorial signs throughout. The whole building and all the hallways to get to the different rooms were all so dark looking and really gave off the effect of how it was.

I would have liked to of toured more areas but we had to leave. I didn't get to see where they slept or anywhere else.

Afterwards we had a "lunch buffet" at a nearby restaurant. Guess what it was... Bread, cheese, and meat! Gotta love the Austrian-style "buffet".

It was a short trip but an impacting one.
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