Urn burial at the cemetery of the Mauthausen Memorial

13.05.2016

At the former Quarantine Yard of the Mauthausen Memorial, which today is a cemetery, the mortal remains of concentration camp victims were buried on 13 May 2016.

Urn burial at the cemetery of the Mauthausen Memorial
Barbara Glück, Guy Dockendorf and Hannah Lessing during burial of the urns (photo credits: Mauthausen Memorial)

During a ceremony, three urns were deposited. One cinerary urn from the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which for a long time had been part of the Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz Memorial. Furthermore, one urn with mortal remains of concentration camp victims found during archaeological excavations at the site of the Mauthausen Memorial, and one cinerary urn kept safe at the Memorial’s depository. Despite intensive research, it has not been possible to find out anything about life and origin of the victims whose mortal remains were being buried. For this reason, the victims were laid to rest in calm and stillness, considering their possible diverse life backgrounds.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Comitée International de Mauthausen with President Guy Dockendorf and Secretary General Andreas Baumgartner, by Hannah Lessing, Secretary General of the Austrian National Fund, whose grandmother Margit Lessing was murdered at Auschwitz and therefore has a very personal relationship to the urn deposited, by Herta Neiss, Member of the Board of the Austrian Camp Community Auschwitz, by survivors, by numerous representatives of victims associations, religious denominations, cultural associations, and by staff members of the Mauthausen Memorial. The participants left flowers, candles and stones at the burial site, i.e. the memorial token they considered appropriate. A memorial plaque unveiled during the ceremony describes the cemetery which was established in the late 1950s at the site of the former concentration camp, as site serving burial purposes until today. Musical accompaniment during the ceremony was provided by the clarinettist Gerald Kraxberger from the Bruckner University in Linz.

We would like to thank all persons who have supported the intensive preparations for the burial of the urns with their advice, in particular Dr. Irmgard Aschbauer (Austrian Mauthausen Committee) and Mag. Andreas Baumgartner (Secretary General CIM).