8. Dialogue Forum Mauthausen: "Perspectives of Perpetrator Research. Dimensions – Reception – Handling"

19.09.2016, 10:00 - 20.09.2016, 16:00 Uhr

From 19 to 20 September 2016, already the 8th Dialogue Forum took place in the visitor centre of the Mauthausen Memorial, this time featuring the topic perspectives of perpetrator research.

8. Dialogue Forum Mauthausen:
(photo credits: Mauthausen Memorial)

For a long time, perpetrator research was neglected by historiography. The subject matter of perpetration was taboo both for Austrian and German post-war societies - therefore, for many decades, the history of concentration camps was almost exclusively told as a history of victims. Even research in Mauthausen took up this topic at a relatively late stage; perpetrators were persistently omitted - with the exception of commanding officers and the heads of detention camps. Only recently, a change of attitude has occurred, as it became evident that historiography is quite incomplete without the history of perpetrators. For this reason, the 8th Dialogue Forum of the Mauthausen Memorial was dedicated to the topic of perpetrator research and communicated the results of such research.

In panels, workshops and discussions, the various issues have been dealt with by national and international experts, but also by relatives of those perpetrators.


19 September 2016


Welcoming reception



Adelheid Kastner, Psychiatrist and court-certified expert – was in charge i.a. of the case Josef Fritzl


Discussion with a Contemporary Witness:

Walter Stern, contemporary witness – searched for Nazi criminals for the OSS  – talking with Gregor Holzinger


Lunch break


Panel 1: “Willing Helpers of the SS”

Stefan Hördler – Ethnic German SS Members
Andrea Rudorff – SS Wardens
Stefan Petke – Muslims in the Waffen SS

Chair: Johannes Koll


Coffee break


Talks with children of Nazi perpetrators  in small groups:

Walter Chmielewski, son of the former camp commander of Gusen – talking with Ralf Lechner
Rosa Brodinger, daughter of an SS member of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp – talking with Regina Fritz
Jens-Jürgen Ventzki, son of the former Lord Mayor of Łódź – talking with Philipp Rohrbach


Themed tours

Perpetrators – Guided tour of the Mauthausen Memorial
Perpetrators private – Guided tour of residential areas for SS and DESt personnel in Mauthausen
Perpetrators and Environment– Guided tour of the town Mauthausen
Perpetrators and Business– Guided tour of the town St. Georgen a. d. Gusen, visit to the residential areas for DESt and SS personnel.


Accompanying event

Book presentation: Gregor Holzinger (ed.): “The Second Tier. Biographies of Perpetrators from the Mauthausen Concentration Camp." Mauthausen-Studien (Band 10) – in Brückenkopfgebäude West (Kunstuniversität), Hauptplatz 8, 4020 Linz

20 September 2016




Summary of the talks with children of Nazi perpetrators


Panel 2: “The Post-War Judiciary: Investigations and Trials against Nazi Perpetrators”  

Christian Rabl – The Dachau Trials
Ruth Bettina Birn – The Ludwigsburg Investigators
Peter Eigelsberger – The Hartheim Trials
Thomas Walther – The last Auschwitz Trials

Chair: Winfried Garscha


Lunch break


“The Perpetrators of Mauthausen - new Research Perspectives”

Bertrand Perz – The “Camp Community” - conceptual considerations of an integrated history of concentration camps
Christian Angerer, Gudrun Blohberger and Ines Brachmann – Perpetrators. How to mediate?
Magdalena Frühmann – Physicians at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp
Andreas Kranebitter – Imprisoned criminals: victims as perpetrators?

Chair: Robert Vorberg


Conclusion and Closing


Mauthausen Memorial


Visitor Center of the Mauthausen Memorial


Christopher Posch
Federal Institution KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen / Mauthausen Memorial
Minoritenplatz 9
1010 Wien
Tel: +43 1 53126-2782