Farewell to René Baumann

07.01.2019

The Frenchman René Baumann, a survivor of the Mauthausen concentration camp, has died at the age of 95 in his home town in Alsace.

Farewell to René Baumann
(Fotocredit: KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen)

In 1940, René Baumann refused to serve the German Reich in occupied Alsace and fled to the free zone in southern France. In November 1942, when German troops invaded southern France, he joined the partisans. He was captured and deported from Compiène prison to Mauthausen as ‘Night and Fog’ prisoner in March 1944. For René Baumann this marked the beginning of a series of deportations to different concentration camps, including Natzweiler-Struthof, Dachau and back to Mauthausen. In September 1944 he was transferred to the Melk subcamp of Mauthausen concentration camp and from there to the Ebensee branch camp, where he was liberated on 6 May 1945.

Throughout his life, René Baumann dedicated himself to remembering and teaching about this history. He was the author of the book Voué à disparatre, René Buamnn, déporté NN (Sentenced to Disappear, René Baumann, a Deportee in Night and Fog) and was a recipient of the French Legion d’Honneur.

In May 2018, René Baumann took part in the liberation ceremony in Melk, which he attended with a group of pupils from an Alsace high school.

René Baumann will be sadly missed.