Americans enter Mauthausen, May 5, 1945 Photo Credit: USHMM Day The Death of a General: George S. Patton, Jr. Chuck Yeager: WWII Fighter Ace and Record Breaking Test Pilot. Adams While touring the camp site, I saw the descriptions of the killings of prisoners in Barracks 20 with coronary injections. In September, The gigantic network of concentration and extermination camps and the killing centers of the T-4 program for the mentally and physically disabled remain the starkest reminders of this ideological core of the National Socialist regime. At the General Meeting held there on August 7, 2010, a decision was made to disband the Association. He is perhaps speaking for all of us third and fourth Newell They After several months of work, the SS began to kill prisoners, condemned for political offenses, there with poison gas in March 1942. It arrived in England 11 October 1944 and prepared for combat with two months' training on the Salisbury Plain. On April 26, 1945, the 11th Armored Division crossed the border into Austria, reaching Linz on May 4, 1945. The brilliance of the work he and others began in the immediate postwar years goes straight to the visitor’s heart. (From left to right) Jason Dawsey, Martin Baranek, Stephen Watson, President and CEO of The National WWII Museum, Lisa B. Cicero, and Amber Mitchell, Assistant Director of Public Engagement at The National WWII Museum. Alexander Gotz MD, 42nd All of the previous history of workers’ struggles for dignity, fair wages, a shorter working day, and the right to form unions and to strike were viciously repudiated by the curses of the Kapos, the crack of whips, and the shots of pistols. Murder was a way of life for these sadists. Photographs from this moment are stirring. When American soldiers attempted to arrest him, he opened fire on them. Doing such office tasks, he remembered, “I didn’t realize that I too had become a part of this machinery of death.” Having to write Verstorben (Deceased) by the names of so many Soviet prisoners induced him in 1943 to do what he could to disrupt the murder process. E. Brush think you got ‘em all.”. The system of degradation, enslavement, medical experimentation, and genocide created by the Hitler dictatorship for its adversaries was without parallel, Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union not excepted. Every Museum Store purchase helps fund the education mission. In the words of Mrs. Clarke "Without the 11th Armored Division, none of us would be here." For two days they waited for the Americans. The 11th Armored Division was then assigned to the US Third Army, commanded by General George Smith Patton. Company On Easter Sunday, 1945, they chased retreating German troops … NBC Nightly News video: Mauthausen “Fortunately my turn hadn’t come,” he said. The granite quarries there interested them greatly. chased him out, nearly scaring him to death. Stunningly, Ziereis did not flee the vicinity of the camp. of civilians along the side of the road, most of whom had been When asked by reporters what he experienced, Taylor related the starvation, physical abuse and killing perpetrated by the guards. Rolling hills grabbed my attention. If you can provide more information on your father you maybe able to also search POW records. The 11th Armored Division Association held annual reunions each year since its inception. Launching an attack from Neufchâteau, Belgium, 30 December, the 11th defended the highway to Basto… The wait must have been agonizing as the fierce winter of 1944-45 set in. These men died unspeakably painful deaths far from their homes in 1941-42. Family Or the German occupied town of Bourcy – so close to German soldiers where the 11th Armored Division had arrived on May 4, 1945. The next day, the Division’s cavalry reconnaissance forces us about six years ago, so now my husband Chuck, and our two I have my “daughter hat” on today. And of course there were didn’t see any of his buddies, so he didn’t go back….though Several groups of prisoners, some of them armed, advanced as far as Linz, where they met the 11th Armored Division that had marched in the day before. for a few moments this afternoon about my conversion….don’t headlights, and their lieutenant’s peep literally bumped head on By-laws, CCA After Action Zanardelli He took basic training in Oregon and was then assigned it, so when he learned about the last 11th Armored Division trip It also functions as a communications center for those who wish to remain in contact. “The highest honor I have ever attained is Some 3,500 people were murdered with this abominable method by the war’s end. At that meeting, a Legacy Group was appointed to preserve the history and record of accomplishments of the 11th Armored Division. Service People - send your thanks, Help Support The Men And Women Who Now Serve In Uniform, Membership Campaign Status Report They all had but one purpose: to labor until every drop of energy was squeezed out of them. On May 5, the 11th Armored Division liberated 81,000 men, women, and children from Mauthausen, the central concentration camp for Austria where prisoners were forced to work in a quarry onsite. Veterans of the Division, spouses, and descendents of veterans were eligible for membership. to have been able to do it with my Dad. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013. Photo, Darriel Quarries, like those at Mauthausen or at Flossenbürg in Bavaria, Pohl and Eicke realized, could meet these new needs. Mauthausen surpassed its own earlier precedents for barbarity in the winter and early spring of 1945. of Photo, Leon and Doris Szymanski I may be a During the invasion of German-held Austria in May 1945, the 11th Armored (the “Thunderbolt” division) overran two of the largest Nazi concentration camps in the country: Mauthausen and Gusen. During the invasion of German-held Austria, the U.S. 11th Armored ("Thunderbolt") Division overran two of the largest Nazi concentration camps in the country: Mauthausen and Gusen. Americans enter Mauthausen, May 5, 1945 Photo Credit: USHMM Getting a rare inside glimpse of the Nazi concentration-camp system, he endured a horrendous month in Mauthausen before the liberation. 41st Cav vehicle, Albert Anderson was sent into the 10th Armored Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the 150th Signal Company because of his radar training. babies born en route to Mauthausen shaking my father’s hand with Bob Pfeiffer Was Born In Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Book Legacy Group. The liberation of the camps brought an end to horrors to the survivors inside and testimony by survivors of many thousands who were murdered in the camps. The SS especially relished tormenting them. 63rd Annual Reunion Report, 11th Returns to On May 5, 1945, the 11th arrived in Gusen, which had originally been a subcamp of Mauthausen. Kellogg's by Rainer Kliemann, Three 99th Inf. How could such a place of torment exist in such a beautiful locale? 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Holocaust survivor, Marsha Kreuzman, reuniting with a liberator shot in the head…and they were all wearing the same unusual card from Young to Die From August 1938 until May 1945, Mauthausen was a site of torment, slave labor, and mass death. Once he stepped out of the cattle car, Baranek, who had already survived both the slave-labor camp at Starachowice and Auschwitz, feared the worst. Typhus and malnourishment spread throughout their ranks. Although most of them bore on their uniforms a green triangle signaling their official status as criminals, the vast majority were in custody for petty property offenses. by Bob Roemer, CCR Memorial, Don 11th Armored Division Convention in Chicago, had a great time, but he Reflecting on the liberation of Mauthausen on May 5, 1945, I do not have to refer to the work of others on this point. Div. for their sacrificial service. E-mail the by Rev. perseverance, selfless courage and compassion – even of your and At first, 800 of the 13,000 men from the 11th Armored Division attended the reunion. It was just the next day that reconnaissance from the Calvary reported the concentration camps of Mauthausen and Gusen nearby. When enemy forces mounted a desperate attack in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium, the Division was rerouted, rushed across France, and committed into action in what was soon to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. last spring, we moved mountains to be able to go….my father, my Friedländer, Saul. An International Committee, organized by the prisoners at the end of April, took over the camp. The division was activated on 15 August 1942. Mauthausen, one of the worst of the Nazi concentration camps, was liberated by the American 11th Armored Division on May 5, 1945. When urged by comrades to volunteer for clerical work, he recalled, in a much later interview about his time in Mauthausen, how he balked at the idea of doing anything for the vile SS. As it drove into Germany, the British 11th Armoured Division occupied the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15, 1945, following an April 12 agreement with the retreating Germans to surrender the camp peacefully. Mally Baum, Associate Pastor,  Armored The next day, the Division’s cavalry reconnaissance forces encounter and liberated the concentration camps of Mauthausen and Gusen, freeing thousands of starving and maltreated prisoners. by we passed a site that brought back memories. To the sergeant’s annoyance, however, Rubin always came back with mission accomplished. Kitchens He was Lieutenant Jack Taylor (1909-1959), an officer in the US Navy who had joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Even the shyer veterans occasionally by Capt. L. Gordon Blasius, New book mischief. Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer’s plans for megalomaniacal construction projects required building materials beyond what German industry could then satisfy. Editor Shot in the process, Ziereis had little choice but undergo questioning by American interrogators and by Maršálek in the 131st US Evacuation Hospital. After Action reports As the leader of Einsatzgruppe D, Otto Ohlendorf was responsible for the murder of 90,000 Soviet Jews, Roma, and Communists. In Determined, the memoir written with Lisa Cicero, and in his January 2020 presentation at The National WWII Museum, Baranek told of the horrors he saw upon arrival in Mauthausen. The U.S. Four Generations A Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street, provides a surprisingly realistic perspective on WWII refugees. On August 15, 1945, at Gmunden, Austria, the 11th Armored Division was disbanded. Tank On April 20, Hitler’s final birthday, the SS made a “selection”—the hideous euphemism for killing—of 3,000 ill inmates from the infirmary. 31Jan45 and at meals everyone else’s stories flowed freely as well… The steps are small, just big enough to accommodate my feet. The Division continued to attack through Belgium, Luxembourg, and into the German Rhineland, reaching the Rhine River at Brohl and Andernach on March 9, 1945. He has The Division pushed into Austria, where they participated in the capture of Linz on May 4, 1945. resting, 11th Armored Division The pictures capture genuine camaraderie and joy among them. WASHINGTON - Sixty years ago, elements of the 11th Armored Division from Patton's own 3rd Army liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. ceremonies at Güsen and Mauthausen on the 65th anniversary of the European Tour During my trip, once I reached the bottom of the Stairway, I went to a pond underneath a very steep rock wall. Maršálek had worked in Communist-led resistance groups in Vienna and Prague. Evacuees from Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sachsenhausen, and Ravensbrück flooded the camp during those months. calls – like the night they got bad directions from an MP. When the 11th Armoured Division entered the camp, its soldiers were totally unprepared for what they found. seeing my father and new friends leading the procession into felt he knew many of you through your writings. Armored Division Association, Support Our American Later the SS gassed inmates who were extremely ill. Jason Dawsey, PhD, is Research Historian at The Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, where he researches the service records of ... Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II, Coordinating the Destruction of an Entire People: The Wannsee Conference, Otto Ohlendorf, Einsatzgruppe D, and the ‘Holocaust by Bullets’, The Capture and Execution of William Joyce, Coming To America: The War Brides Act of 1945. On the bus Ragnarök, Photo of Then on April 28 they carried out a final gassing operation, killing more than 30 Austrian socialists and communists. This saved his own life but also entailed his absorption into the camp’s operations. Ardery, Objective Soon after the Division was formed and staffed, a period of intense training ensued, first in Louisiana, then in Texas, and finally in California. Tank Secretary by Anna Rosmus During the fall of 1941 the camp leadership ordered the construction of a gas chamber. Patrimony Days Once in Europe, Dad became the machine gunner on a 23Dec44 to After the guards had withdrawn from Gusen, the hour of revenge on the Kapos (prisoner supervisors) who had stayed on in the camp … They are shown in this 2009 photo with grandson Nick, and great grand daughter Matilda Eva. Courtesy of Cpl Donald R. Ornitz, US Army. over the world. (final), 11th The SS could count on a reserve army of concentration-camp inmates, human beings who had been stripped of all their rights. Their deeds will never be forgotten.” Even with the Nazi regime’s days numbered, business as usual did not halt for Commandant Franz Ziereis. The Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army on May 5, 1945. been a student of the war ever since – his library of books and Taylor not only lived to tell the press about Mauthausen, he resolutely sought justice for the victims. Over 1,600 former inmates still required medical attention into June 1945. One of these evacuees was Martin Baranek. panorama, Leicht The 26th and the 11th Armored Division liberated Gusen concentration camp, a subcamp of Mauthausen, on May 5. only to be ambushed by a goose that knocked off his helmet and Taylor, a leader of OSS operations in Greece and the Balkans providing support to partisans and escape to downed airmen, was captured by the Gestapo in late November 1944 while on a mission in Austria. preserved and passed on. Once I reached it, there were spectacular views of the Upper Austrian countryside accessible from several of the camp’s major sites. And I will never forget the Members photos, James With its subcamps at Gusen, Ebensee, and Melk, Mauthausen sat at the center of a web of systematic violence. It was an unimaginable end for men so close to new, better lives. Among the many memories I occasionally tap from my trip was the sight of the Spanish, Soviet, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, and Italian monuments to their dead. &, Mauthausen Pete Palone, Tony Petrelli and John Katchmere, 2010 The SS guards had already abandoned the camp and the prisoners. this opportunity all the more meaningful for him. For those who do not have email, they may contact former Association Secretary Robert Pfeiffer, 2328 Admiral Street, Aliquippa, PA 15001, telephone number 724-375-6295. Baranek, Martin, with Lisa B. Cicero. Among the liberated an American was discovered. Cunningham European Tour As the war turned against Adolf Hitler, hope kindled that the camp might be freed. Division Assn. The 11th Armored then withdrew, crossed the Moselle River at Bullay, and mounted a second drive through the Moselle-Rhine Palatinate, again reaching the Rhine River in the vicinity of Worms. the people who hosted receptions, meals and other gatherings to They came in cattle cars, in trucks, and on foot. Above image: Former prisoners greeting American forces in Mauthausen in May 1945. On May 5, 1945, the U.S. 11th Armored Division liberated the Mauthausen Concentration camp. Service Cross, 42 as the half track would carry. every one of my Dad’s V-mails, and Christian had been magazines is extensive. Men from the 80th Infantry Division moved into Ebensee on May 6. heartbreaking stories, like the time my Dad’s sergeant relieved Clarke, was born in Mauthausen Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945. For 90,000-95,000 people, liberation came far too late. the platoon of 30 got twenty bottles each. war…sold to Dad for two packs of cigarettes. a presentation at the Louisville Reunion  Established in 1938 near the city of Linz in Upper Austria, it was founded, along with Flossenbürg and Ravensbrück, on orders from Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, as part of an expansion of the concentration-camp network. child raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, largely by my father, Chet Wachsmann, Nikolaus. The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and its Aftermath. changed by these stories…and we still have much to learn from Courtesy of Frank Ayami. Then they were forced to bear them up the 186 steps of the Todesstiege, the horrid Stairway of Death. The unspeakable atrocities that the troops witnessed in these camps bore witness to the horror of the Holocaust. Holocaust survivor, Marsha Kreuzman, reuniting with a liberator H. Mann The arrival of the Americans saved Taylor from certain execution. “In remembrance of the members of the 11th Armored Division of the Third U.S. Army who liberated the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Gusen, Ebensee and others located nearby in Upper Austria. US troops from the 41st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 11th Armored Division, part of General Patton's 3rd Army, finally arrived on May 5. to the ASTP. Photos, Gilbert 60th Anniversary Olindo Richard Schauseil, 11th Armored Division, Mauthausen Concentration Camp Liberator 1 of 3 ... 11th Armored Division, Mauthausen Concentration Camp Liberator 2 of 3 - Duration: 12:00. They had so much that each man in For him I think the war was The 11th Armored Division’s cavalry unit helped liberate the Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Linz, Germany, and were greeted by emaciated yet exuberant prisoners.   seventeen year old son Christian, and me. 1944, the well armed and equipped Division embarked for Europe, landing in England for final staging and preparation for combat. Valhalla Finale, Anka Reflections I was also deeply touched by Oswald Pohl, director of the SS Administration Office, and Theodor Eicke, Inspector of Concentration Camps, two men enjoying Himmler’s complete confidence, visited Mauthausen in March 1938 immediately following Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria. & Bastogne, Restoration of the Tank in McAullife Square, Veteran's Zanardelli, This site content for A monument erected there described how the SS delighted in hurling these Jewish men off the top of this wall to their deaths. After Action a real location to each of his stories… they no longer felt like New Haven: Yale University, 2015. into a German staff car at the front of a column of trucks and There were thousands who needed the most urgent care. A huge banner decorated with the words, “Spanish Antifascists greet the Allied forces!” towered over the column of American soldiers. Starting in June-July 1941, doctors from the Hartheim killing center, part of the T-4 program, arranged meetings with camp personnel. updated The Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army on May 5, 1945. “Mauthausen was unlike anywhere else, a place of physical and mental torture and abuse beyond our imaginations,” he writes. delegation of friends and families of survivors from literally all Where Murder Was a Way of Life: The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Mauthausen, one of the worst of the Nazi concentration camps, was liberated by the American 11th Armored Division on … Perhaps the long years of brutality he oversaw as commandant had degraded his mental capacities. More than 13,000 corpses in various stages of decomposition lay littered around the … In some cases Ziereis and his subordinates were happy to let others do the dirty work. Service People -. View Martin Barbanek's memoir on the Museum Store. Yet it does. In early 1941, several hundred Dutch Jews, taken into custody shortly before the Amsterdam General Strike arrived. home, painted by one of the German prisoners Dad worked after the Photos, Burr Webmaster Events came to a head on August 4, 1950. Ziereis had a crematorium installed to burn the bodies. My grandmother saved At that time, the 11th Armored Division Association was formed. Rohn, a member of the 56th Armored Engineers, Company C. He was by Roger Marquet, 22nd 23Dec44 - 9May45, B Cliff Japs, John Years after my trip to Mauthausen I read Saul Friedländer’s searing description of the story of the Dutch Jews taken into custody. Sent Home Street dedicated, 41st Maršálek praised the United States forces for their diligence in tending to the sick. Inside were more than 60,000 emaciated and ill prisoners in desperate need of medical attention. Dad went to the first 11th Brigadier General Charles “Chuck” Yeager was best known as the first man to break the sound barrier, but during World War II Yeager was a decorated fighter ace. newly, albeit loosely, formed 11th Armored Division Legacy group, Mauthausen was liberated by the U.S. Army 11th Armored Division on 5-6 May 1945. by drafted into the army while a student at the University of That did not matter in the slightest to Franz Ziereis, whom Eicke selected to replace Albert Sauer as Mauthausen’s commandant in February 1939. resulted in the capture of over 20,000 enemy combatants, who were incarcerated armored vehicles. The following year Spanish Republicans—socialists, communists, and anarchists—were incarcerated at Mauthausen. Once they extracted blocks of stone from the cliff, the prisoners next had to break them into smaller fragments. Mauthausen was one of the worst of the concentration camps in this system. too…We have a picture of a Bavarian landscape hanging in our Over 3,000 of them were interred in the grounds next to the Mauthausen and Gusen facilities. Someone laid eyes on Ziereis just five days after Mauthausen was set free. superficial wounds the day before, had not made it. legends or fairy tales, they literally sprang to life. These fighters, seized from French internment camps during the German invasion of France, had fought against Francisco Franco and his Italian and German backers in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War before fleeing north in 1939. With many comrades and friends, Hans Maršálek devoted much of his long postwar life to establishing and maintaining a memorial at Mauthausen for the murdered, as well as documenting in print the history of the camp. My generation, along with subsequent ones, has been Cooperation ensued. Silver Star, Earl as they walked by…Quickly and quietly they turned the truck Further units, including the 11th Armored Division of the Third Army, arrived in the succeeding days. Without you, my lovely wife would not be here today.”, What can I say? Liberation and post-war heritage Tanks of U.S. 11th Armored Division entering the Mauthausen concentration camp; banner in Spanish reads "Antifascist Spaniards greet the forces of liberation". found themselves in a truck with rifles but no machine guns in the Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates the number at over 95,000, but this includes the deaths at the nearby Gusen camps (where more inmates died than actually at the Mauthausen main camp), and also all the other outlying sub-camps of the Mauthausen system. time when they were traveling, again at night and without Swerdlow and the 11th Armored Division rolled south from Belgium into Germany. Constitution & 08/25/2020, Membership Campaign Status Report Quickly the three half tracks went into echelon Silver Star, I He would survive the war and is a precious witness to so many aspects of the Nazi genocide. There were stories of close dedicated to On April 26, 1945, the 11th Armored Division crossed the border into Austria, reaching Linz on May 4, 1945. Sharp rocks shot up through the water. Europe Tour The 11th Armored Division As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they found tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners in deplorable conditions.e Malnutrition and disease were rampant, and corpses lay unburied. According to Nikolaus Wachsmann, the “Mauthausen SS used a Mercedes omnibus and two yellow postal buses to ferry the victims to their deaths.” They were put to death with carbon monoxide gas. 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