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The Mauthausen concentration camp, situated about 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz in Upper Austria, was the hub of one of the largest labor camp complexes in the German-controlled part of Europe, with a central camp near the village of Mauthausen, and nearly one hundred other subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. Among these Mauthausen had the most brutal detention conditions. It was classified “Grade III”, where the most “incorrigible political enemies of the Reich” were sent to be exterminated, often through exhaustion by grueling forced labor. The SS called Mauthausen Knochenmühle, or the bone grinder.

The camp was located on the edge of a granite quarry where camp inmates were sent to work. Indeed, the site for the camp was chosen because of the quarry’s close proximity to Linz, a city Hitler planned to rebuild with grandiose buildings as envisioned by Albert Speer.


The Stairs of Death at Mauthausen concentration camp, then and now.

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