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Holocaust History: Concentration Camps

This LibGuide is a starting point for general research on the concentration camps, with resources on genocide, survivor memoirs, and primary sources.

Brief History

The Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp was established in April 1938, a few weeks after Nazi Germany annexed Austria in early March 1938. It was located near the city of Linz. The

camp initially housed convicted criminals and political prisoners, and later became a detention camp for anti-Nazi and religious conscientious objectors, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, from various countries in Europe. Jews were sent to the camp beginning in 1941.

The inmates at Mauthausen worked as forced laborers in quarries, munition factories, mines, and aircraft factories. Around 200,000 prisoners passed through Mauthausen and its sub-camps. In its last months, the camp became horrendously overcrowded as prisoners from Auschwitz, and other camps were dumped there. An estimated 95,000 prisoners died due to starvation, disease, and hard labor. The 41st Reconnaissance Squadron of the United States 11th Armored Division, 3rd U.S. Army, liberated Mauthausen and its sub-camps on May 5, 1945.


The following summary derived information from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library

Leatherby Libraries

Archival Material