I was finally able to put When the 11th Armoured Division entered the camp, its soldiers were totally unprepared for what they found. “Mauthausen was unlike anywhere else, a place of physical and mental torture and abuse beyond our imaginations,” he writes. By comparison, the Nuremberg rallies with their massive spectacles of Führer adoration, the mobilization of Germans from all backgrounds into party organizations, and even the suppression of other parties and political perspectives all appear as secondary qualities of rule in the Third Reich. Years after my trip to Mauthausen I read Saul Friedländer’s searing description of the story of the Dutch Jews taken into custody. Courtesy of Cpl Donald R. Ornitz, US Army. Ardery, Objective “Fortunately my turn hadn’t come,” he said. as prisoners of war. Once they extracted blocks of stone from the cliff, the prisoners next had to break them into smaller fragments. That same day Gusen and Melk fell into American hands. Co. A 56th Armored Engineer Battalion and to all those How could such a place of torment exist in such a beautiful locale? At first, 800 of the 13,000 men from the 11th Armored Division attended the reunion. Application for Membership, Two German POWs at Urfahr us of their confusion and sorrow as they began to see the bodies panorama, Leicht by Rev. The 11th Armored Division Association held annual reunions each year since its inception. “One of the worst,” a phrase of comparison, is not used lightly here. A Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street, provides a surprisingly realistic perspective on WWII refugees. child raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, largely by my father, Chet Having tasted freedom, several thousand died in the days after May 5. It arrived in England 11 October 1944 and prepared for combat with two months' training on the Salisbury Plain. Stone, Dan. He is perhaps speaking for all of us third and fourth Denver: Outskirts Press, 2018. every one of my Dad’s V-mails, and Christian had been 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. Battalion Panorama, Robert Kellogg's get nervous folks….it’s not what you think, my being a pastor Days later, Germany surrendered to Allied forces, marking the official end to Nazi tyranny. Cooperation ensued. for a few moments this afternoon about my conversion….don’t The next day, the Division’s cavalry reconnaissance forces Mauthausen, followed by banner carrying delegation after The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945. 504-528-1944. Album, Belgian by Anna Rosmus Clarke, was born in Mauthausen Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945. The SS especially relished tormenting them. Reunion Photos, Recollections 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. Then it all became horrifyingly clear when they A huge banner decorated with the words, “Spanish Antifascists greet the Allied forces!” towered over the column of American soldiers. Kitchens Someone laid eyes on Ziereis just five days after Mauthausen was set free. Webmaster Members photos, James Yet as fanatical as they were, the SS personnel understood the war was over. formation and began shooting….Eventually the platoon sergeant 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. this opportunity all the more meaningful for him. Alexander Gotz MD, 42nd Determined: A Memoir. Johnny come lately, but I am a convert...I no longer take your Americans enter Mauthausen, May 5, 1945 Photo Credit: USHMM by Rainer Kliemann, Three 99th Inf. On the orders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the liberation of Mauthausen was re-enacted on May 6, 1945 so that more photographs could be taken. The Rhine River was crossed on March 28, 1945, utilizing a pontoon bridge constructed by US Third Army forces. 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. By night they soldier from the 11th Armored Division, Joseph Barbella, 11th tears in his eyes, saying, “Thank you, thank you to each of you. Houffalize, Belgium, finally terminating the "Bulge" incursion. designed and maintained The granite quarries there interested them greatly. Screened by harassing artillery fire, the division was relieved the next day by the 17th Airborne Div. preserved and passed on. Typhus and malnourishment spread throughout their ranks. think you got ‘em all.”. On August 15, 1945, at Gmunden, Austria, the 11th Armored Division was disbanded. Maršálek had worked in Communist-led resistance groups in Vienna and Prague. Veterans of the Division, spouses, and descendents of veterans were eligible for membership. E. Brush to the ASTP. Courtesy of Cpl Donald R. Ornitz, US Army. The final reunion was held in Louisville, Kentucky. Mally Baum, Associate Pastor,  Mauthausen for their sacrificial service. After Action 1940's Photo 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. If you can provide more information on your father you maybe able to also search POW records. Zanardelli Upon reaching the battle zone, the Division attacked, encountering a simultaneous headlong attack by German units that were seeking to close off the recently opened corridor into besieged Bastogne. 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. We feel so The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and its Aftermath. Every Museum Store purchase helps fund the education mission. To the sergeant’s annoyance, however, Rubin always came back with mission accomplished. 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. dear friend Bud Rauch, whom they had thought had sustained only Then they were forced to bear them up the 186 steps of the Todesstiege, the horrid Stairway of Death. Dale Stunningly, Ziereis did not flee the vicinity of the camp. 56th Engineers, In Memoriam 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. Forced to sleep in the barracks on the floor “in rows, like herring,” he goes on, new arrivals like him came to grips with the fact that “food was almost nonexistent in this camp. I am honored to be a participant in the from his father’s journal. The 11th Armored Division has a proud and distinguished heritage. The wait must have been agonizing as the fierce winter of 1944-45 set in. Holocaust survivor, Marsha Kreuzman, reuniting with a liberator The Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army on May 5, 1945. 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. They fled Mauthausen on May 3, 1945. a presentation at the Louisville Reunion  I grew up with the stories, though I Mauthausen, one of the worst of the Nazi concentration camps, was liberated by the American 11th Armored Division on May 5, 1945. it, so when he learned about the last 11th Armored Division trip 11th Yet they could not save everybody. Col. Edward R. The unspeakable atrocities that the troops witnessed in these camps bore witness to the horror of the Holocaust. Some 3,500 people were murdered with this abominable method by the war’s end. These images transmit a horrible truth—bonds of friendship and group pride can assume the most perverse forms. by  simultaneously the worst of times and the best of times. by Jim Powers, New Rohn, a member of the 56th Armored Engineers, Company C. He was Or the one about the The SS could count on a reserve army of concentration-camp inmates, human beings who had been stripped of all their rights. 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. This saved his own life but also entailed his absorption into the camp’s operations. 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 Men from the 80th Infantry Division moved into Ebensee on May 6. In early 1941, several hundred Dutch Jews, taken into custody shortly before the Amsterdam General Strike arrived. Adams At that meeting, a Legacy Group was appointed to preserve the history and record of accomplishments of the 11th Armored Division. On Easter Sunday, 1945, they chased retreating German troops … Dad went to the first 11th He and a dear In May 1945. This article is part of an ongoing series commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II made possible by Bank of America. Under Pohl’s leadership, the newly founded German Earth and Stone Works administered these economic ventures. Photo Album, 11th "My Silver Star, Earl In early August 1938 the first inmates set foot in the camp. Swerdlow and the 11th Armored Division rolled south from Belgium into Germany. Everyone’s story 41st Cav vehicle, Albert this website 1944, the well armed and equipped Division embarked for Europe, landing in England for final staging and preparation for combat. Over the next two years, Maršálek worked with several other inmates to delay executions and to spare the most vulnerable from labor. found themselves in a truck with rifles but no machine guns in the Conversion" (final), 11th Cunningham Zamparelli pic, Too On January 20, 1942, a group of Nazi leaders met to coordinate a continent-wide genocide. Mauthausen was liberated by the U.S. Army 11th Armored Division on 5-6 May 1945. While touring the camp site, I saw the descriptions of the killings of prisoners in Barracks 20 with coronary injections. 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. time when they were traveling, again at night and without I have my “daughter hat” on today. “In other camps,” writes Nikolaus Wachsmann, “inmates began to dread a transfer to Mauthausen, after returning prisoners described the huge quarries as hell on earth.” Its name rightly incited terror. In the words of Mrs. Clarke "Without the 11th Armored Division, none of us would be here." &, Mauthausen drafted into the army while a student at the University of 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. as the half track would carry. 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. Evacuees from Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sachsenhausen, and Ravensbrück flooded the camp during those months. On January 3, 1946, ardent fascist and Nazi propaganda broadcaster William “Lord Haw-Haw” Joyce was executed following his conviction for treason. info@nationalww2museum.org One of these evacuees was Martin Baranek. In early December, 1944, the Division deployed to the continent, landing in France, and making preparations to attack German pockets of resistance on the coast of Brittany. And I will never forget the card from Olindo 60th Anniversary Courtesy of Frank Ayami. Eva and Anka are Honorary Members of the 11th Armored Division The 11th Armored Division’s cavalry unit helped liberate the Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Linz, Germany, and were greeted by emaciated yet exuberant prisoners. (111­SC­206395) Waganheim Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer’s plans for megalomaniacal construction projects required building materials beyond what German industry could then satisfy. More than 60,000 women wed by American servicemen during World War II hoped to leave their old homes behind and rejoin their husbands for a new life in the United States. encounter and liberated the concentration camps of Mauthausen and Gusen, freeing thousands of starving and maltreated prisoners. Bob Pfeiffer At last, the prisoners were rid of them. photos, Letters Who would do the work? They had so much that each man in Dad also told Bergman He rose in the Mauthausen administration, becoming camp clerk. More than 13,000 corpses in various stages of decomposition lay littered around the … I was also deeply touched by Company At the General Meeting held there on August 7, 2010, a decision was made to disband the Association. Among the liberated an American was discovered. Medal of Honor, 11th Armored Division Assn. Dad moved to Texas to live with 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. small bridges and on occasion acted as infantry. An International Committee, organized by the prisoners at the end of April, took over the camp. resting, 11th Armored Division At that time, the 11th Armored Division Association was formed. The SS picked out inmates determined to have mental illness or suffering from physical disabilities and transported them to Hartheim. Valhalla Finale, Anka Dan O'Brien, E-mail the Later the SS gassed inmates who were extremely ill. into a German staff car at the front of a column of trucks and Once I reached it, there were spectacular views of the Upper Austrian countryside accessible from several of the camp’s major sites. He was Lieutenant Jack Taylor (1909-1959), an officer in the US Navy who had joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Camp Gusen was liberated the same day, making these sites the last of the large German concentration camps to be liberated by advancing Allied forces. Tank 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. Mauthausen surpassed its own earlier precedents for barbarity in the winter and early spring of 1945. Without you, my lovely wife would not be here today.”, What can I say? General George S. Patton, Jr., one of America’s greatest battlefield commanders, died on December 21, 1945 in an Army hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. 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. He took basic training in Oregon and was then assigned Family striped outfits. On May 7, other units of the 11th Armored Division entered Mauthausen. heartbreaking stories, like the time my Dad’s sergeant relieved The pictures capture genuine camaraderie and joy among them. headlights, and their lieutenant’s peep literally bumped head on Mauthausen was one of the worst of the concentration camps in this system. Newell After Action Report, Submit In some instances the rocks immediately rolled downhill, crushing the feet of those that came behind. Forced to carry stones often weighing more than 100 pounds up this path, the repeated ascent broke the spirits and bodies of thousands. the platoon of 30 got twenty bottles each. by Rev. Zanardelli, This site only to be ambushed by a goose that knocked off his helmet and 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. For two days they waited for the Americans. The brilliance of the work he and others began in the immediate postwar years goes straight to the visitor’s heart. Wisconsin. 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. When American soldiers attempted to arrest him, he opened fire on them. Pete Palone, Tony Petrelli and John Katchmere, 2010 must admit I took them for granted…funny stories like the time The Death of a General: George S. Patton, Jr. Chuck Yeager: WWII Fighter Ace and Record Breaking Test Pilot. L. Gordon Blasius, New book home, painted by one of the German prisoners Dad worked after the Web Gallery Site, Barracuda Memorial, Don The Division was activated on August 15, 1942, at Camp Polk, Louisiana.   Burns It served with honor to defend the nation, and to preserve the cherished freedom that the United States of America and its citizens have long enjoyed. One side has a map depicting dates and movements of the 11th Armored through southeastern Germany, from April 10 at Neustadt through the capture of Linz, Austria, on May 5 and the liberation of two concentration camps, Mauthausen, and a subcamp, Gusen, on May 5 and 6. Silver Star, Tibor "Ted" Rubin Unfortunately for Rubin, Peyton was a very determined man. Their deeds will never be forgotten.” The Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army on May 5, 1945. In September, The arrival of the Americans saved Taylor from certain execution. perseverance, selfless courage and compassion – even of your Getting a rare inside glimpse of the Nazi concentration-camp system, he endured a horrendous month in Mauthausen before the liberation. Or the These men died unspeakably painful deaths far from their homes in 1941-42. German occupied town of Bourcy – so close to German soldiers Aumann by Capt. Legacy Group. shot in the head…and they were all wearing the same unusual seeing my father and new friends leading the procession into 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. He has 23Dec44 to Days of excruciating toil frequently lasted eleven hours in the summer months and nine hours in the winter. Over 3,000 of them were interred in the grounds next to the Mauthausen and Gusen facilities. 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. Patrimony Days 23 Dec 44 – 8 May 45, Dean Service Cross, 42 And I remember the husband of one of the three Within a few weeks, however, the sight of beatings and executions changed his mind. generation folks…. dedicated to Every Jew who lost his rock in that fashion was brutally beaten, and the rock was hoisted onto his shoulders again.” The SS eagerly dispensed punishment to anyone exhibiting fatigue. 2008 Even with the Nazi regime’s days numbered, business as usual did not halt for Commandant Franz Ziereis. liberation of these two concentration camps….my immense pride at The division landed in Normandy on 16 December 1944, assigned to contain the enemy in the Lorient Pocket, but the onset of the Battle of the Bulge resulted in a forced march to the Meuse and the defense of a 30-mile sector from Givet to Sedan, 23 December. Starting in June-July 1941, doctors from the Hartheim killing center, part of the T-4 program, arranged meetings with camp personnel. The Americans transported some to local hospitals, others to nearby schools. chased him out, nearly scaring him to death. of having my name coupled with yours in these great events.”, List of Registered Louisville attendees and at meals everyone else’s stories flowed freely as well… Service People - send your thanks, Help Support The Men And Women Who Now Serve In Uniform, Membership Campaign Status Report People fell dead around us all the time. updated Photographs from this moment are stirring. Anna Rosmus half track. Armored Division Association you. Ultimately Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic priests, and Roma, often classified among the “asocials,” joined the polyglot universe of Mauthausen. The Mauthausen concentration camp was one of the places where an ultra-brutal form of capitalism, peculiar to the Nazis, took shape. Photos, Some I would like to speak to you 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. 08/25/2020, Membership Campaign Status Report As the leader of Einsatzgruppe D, Otto Ohlendorf was responsible for the murder of 90,000 Soviet Jews, Roma, and Communists. Co D He also authored a report on his time in the camp and in the spring of 1946 testified in a trial of Mauthausen personnel at Dachau that brought death or prison sentences for all 61 of the accused. NBC Nightly News video: The Thunderbolt Division - 11th Armored -- had tackled two ace Nazi divisions, punched them back six miles in five freezing days, cleared 30 square miles of rugged terrain, liberated more than a dozen towns and ended the threat to the supply route. the people who hosted receptions, meals and other gatherings to After several months of work, the SS began to kill prisoners, condemned for political offenses, there with poison gas in March 1942. On May 5, 1945, the 11th arrived in Gusen, which had originally been a subcamp of Mauthausen. entered the gates of Mauthausen in May of 1945. he has literally devoured every issue of the newsletter and he Even the shyer veterans occasionally US 11th Armored Division tanks entering the Mauthausen concentration camp on May 6, 1945. content for He would survive the war and is a precious witness to so many aspects of the Nazi genocide. Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration. 60th Anniversary Young to Die May 1, 2020 Above image: Former prisoners greeting American forces in Mauthausen in May 1945. 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 … Taylor not only lived to tell the press about Mauthausen, he resolutely sought justice for the victims. delegation of friends and families of survivors from literally all From August 1938 until May 1945, Mauthausen was a site of torment, slave labor, and mass death. At first, Himmler, Pohl, and Eicke chose men deemed “professional criminals” and “asocials” to do the labor. transcribing them for an independent study for school…that made They had to procure cots, blood for transfusions, supplies of glucose for injections, and absolutely vital anti-typhus medication. Above image: Former prisoners greeting American forces in Mauthausen in May 1945. Armored Division Convention in Chicago, had a great time, but he soldier from the 11th Armored Division, Joseph Barbella, Final 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Sent Home They are shown in this 2009 photo with grandson Nick, and great grand daughter Matilda Eva. WASHINGTON - Sixty years ago, elements of the 11th Armored Division from Patton's own 3rd Army liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. 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. The SS guards had already abandoned the camp and the prisoners. Constitution & Pictures snapped in May 1945 show him explaining the operation of a gas chamber. 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