The Mauthausen camp does not want any Russian officials at the memorial service

The Russian and Belarusian ambassadors have been asked not to attend the May 15 commemoration of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, we learned from the organizing committee on Tuesday, April 19.

A participation of the two countries would be incompatible with the Mauthausen oath of the surviving prisoners and their desire for peace and freedom.“, its President Willi Mernyi justified in the local press. An email was personally sent to the two representatives, a spokeswoman contacted by AFP confirmed.

Condemnation of the Russian invasion

The enormous sacrifices made by the Soviet Union as a member of the Allies in the fight against National Socialism and in the liberation of many camps remain unforgotten.“In a press release from the Austrian, the International and the Mauthausen Memorial Committees, also write down “the unimaginable suffering inflicted on Soviet prisoners“.

But they addwe condemn in the strongest terms» the Russian invasion of Ukraine, carried out with the support of Belarus, and «call for an immediate end to the war“. If the ambassadors are not welcome, the associations, the survivors and their families have been invited to the ceremony.

Economic function of the warehouse

Opened by the SS in August 1938, five months after Austria’s annexation to Nazi Germany, the camp was designatedincorrigible political enemiesof the Nazi Order. The site and its 49 outbuildings housed many prisoners of war, particularly Soviet and Polish, but also resistance fighters, common law prisoners, homosexuals and Jews in smaller numbers.

The camp also had an economic function that grew during the war years. The prisoners were forced to work in the surrounding granite quarries under terrible conditions. From 1942 they were assigned to the armaments industry.

Mauthausen was liberated by American troops in May 1945. A total of 200,000 people came there, almost half of whom died, victims of starvation, disease, gassings or executions.

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