Presentation of the "Memorial Book for the Dead of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and its Subcamps"
On 15 May the Mauthausen Memorial presented one of its largest and most important research projects: the “Memorial Book for the Dead of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and its Sub-Camps”. The Memorial Book has been published both as website and as three volume edition, and was published for the Mauthausen Memorial by the Association for Remembrance and Historical Research at Austrian Memorials and by Andreas Kranebitter.
“Take comfort, Beloved. Your memory is never to be forgotten!”, with this quotation by the survivor Camille Scholtes, Andreas Kranebitter, scientific staff member of the Mauthausen Memorial and leader of the project “Memorial Book for the Dead of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and its Sub-Camps” opened his speech during the book presentation on 15 May 2016 in the visitor centre of the Mauthausen Memorial.
On the occasion of the liberation ceremony on Sunday also a Memorial Book for the victims was presented to the public. The three-volume edition is the result of one of the most comprehensive research project ever undertaken by the Mauthausen Memorial. The publication contains names and personal data of 84,270 prisoners murdered at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp or its sub-camps. This work was contributed by 271 authors and researchers – among them survivors and survivor organisations, scientific institutions and archives, as well as relatives of victims and many embassies of their countries of origin for more than ten years. With the „Memorial Book for the Dead of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp” the Mauthausen Memorial wishes to raise a monument to the dead.
The event was attended by around 300 people, among them Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer and wife Margit Fischer, numerous representatives of the Austrian Federal Government, such as Federal Minister Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka, Federal Minister Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, representatives of the Upper Austrian Provincial Government, international diplomatic representatives, cooperation partners, as well as concentration camp survivors and contemporary witnesses, among them Jehuda Bacon, Yitzhak Livnat, Bernard Maingot, Henri Maître, Andrew Sternberg and Wojciech Topolewski. Representing the many authors, who had come to the book presentation, journalist Arjeh Kalmann, contemporary witness Wojciech Topolewski and writer Erich Hackl were reading three life stories of persons who had died there. The musical framework of the event was provided by Josef Blank from the Anton Bruckner University Linz, who among others by his interpretation of the Gusen March by Konstanty Ćwierk/Gracjan “Jasio” Guziński created a musical thematic relationship to the Commemorative Book.
In his closing address, the contemporary witness and concentration camp survivor Henri Maître emphasised the importance of sending a signal lest we forget, and in emotional words called for a determined stand against totalitarian power structures, “so that love shall finally reign the world, for love is immortal and indestructible.”
Reading by Austrian Authors
On 8 June 2016, more than 30 biographical texts from the Commemorative Book for the Dead of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp and its Sub-Camps were publically read by numerous Austrian authors. The reading had been organised and moderated by Gerhard Ruiss (IG Autorinnen/Autoren), one of the co-authors of the Commemorative Book for the platform “Voices against the Right”, and can be listened to here.
Another author reading organised by Ruiss took place at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016, where also the editor of the Memorial Book Andreas Kranebitter had the opportunity to speak. Reading and interview can be found here.