Online Workshop - Polish sources and documents about the former concentration camp Gusen


Online Workshop - Polish sources and documents about the former concentration camp Gusen
© Screenshot - Mauthausen Memorial

Between December 1939 and May 1945 at least 71,000 prisoners from nearly 30 countries were imprisoned in the Gusen concentration camp complex, which consisted of the Gusen I, II and III camps. Today, the sources and documents that bear witness to this history and the crimes committed in the camps are scattered across the world. A significant proportion of them are held in archives, museums and memorial sites in Poland. This includes camp administration documents, writing produced in the camp by prisoners, objects and artworks, written and oral memoirs and testimonies by survivors of the concentration camp, and much more.

In order to gain an initial overview of the sources held in Polish archives, and to consider these alongside the materials available in its own collections, the Mauthausen Memorial organised an online workshop together with the Polish Institute Vienna. The participants on the Polish side were: the Polish State Archives, Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Groß Rosen Museum, Stutthof Museum, Foundation for Polish-German Reconciliation, Majdanek Museum, Karta, Prof. Jan Rydel – Poland’s representative on the International Advisory Board of the Mauthausen Memorial, and representatives of the Polish Ministry of Culture. On the Austrian side were: Prof. Bertrand Perz from the Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna, and Rudolf Haunschmied from the Gedenkdienstkomitee Gusen.

The workshop marks the first step towards long-term international cooperation in further research on the history of the Gusen camp complex. This cooperation will also provide the scientific foundation for the ongoing process of expansion and redesign at the Gusen memorial site.