“We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
On 8 May, more than 7,000 visitors attended a commemoration ceremony for the 66th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Linz, in Oberösterreich (Upper Austria).
The commemoration ceremony included church services, a wreath-laying ceremony, the unveiling of a memorial plaque, and a march of the living camp inmates.
The event focused on the theme "Network of Terror." Willi Mernyi, Chairman of the Austrian Mauthausen Committee, emphasized that the network established by the Nazi regime was able to function only due to the existence of an informal network of sympathizers. He stated that addressing this aspect automatically results in raising the question of moral courage and of engagement against extremism.
Commemoration events also took place at several other Austrian memorial sites, including Ebensee and Gusen. Ebensee and Gusen were sub-camps that formed part of the Mauthausen-Gusen camp complex. By the end of the war, the Mauthausen-Gusen complex included 101 camps that stretched from southern Germany throughout Austria to the border of Yugoslavia, and contained about 85,000 prisoners. Mauthausen-Gusen was liberated by the American Army on 5-6 May 1945.