Reorganising the Mauthausen Memorial - Bill in the Council of Ministers

24.05.2016

The Mauthausen Memorial shall be spun-off as from 1 January 2017. The corresponding Memorial Act (GStG) was submitted to the Government in the Council of Ministers on 24 May 2016.

Reorganising the Mauthausen Memorial - Bill in the Council of Ministers
(photo credits: Mauthausen Memorial)

As from 1 January 2017, the Mauthausen Memorial, which at present is under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, shall be transferred to the Federal Institution Mauthausen Memorial. This will be implemented by a Memorial Act (GStG), which was submitted to the Government in the Council of Ministers by Wolfgang Sobotka, Minister of the Interior, on 24 May 2016.

“For the first time in the history of the Second Republic, a legal basis is established for Austria’s largest Memorial, which in addition to the obligation of permanent and sustainable financing also defines the objectives and tasks of the Memorial", said the Minister of the Interior.  "The site of remembrance, which previously mainly served as a Memorial, shall thereby be transformed into a multidimensional site of teaching history combined with a professionalised museum operation."

By creating this Federal Institution “an efficient, content-autonomous, unbureaucratic and internationally comparable entity will be established, which will continue to be state-supervised to meet the responsibility of the Republic of Austria under international law”, said Sobotka.

On the one hand, the legal form of a Federal Institution under public law guarantees its non-profit status and political independence, and on the other hand ensures the political responsibility of the State. Economic supervision shall be exercised by a board of trustees staffed with State and interest representatives and stakeholders. “Moreover, the interests of survivors, of the civil society involved and of the States whose citizens became victims of the Nazi regime, will be safeguarded by establishing an international Advisory Board”, said the Minister of the Interior.

Central Site of Remembrance of Nazi Crimes

The Mauthausen Memorial, together with the Gusen Memorial and the more than forty former sub-camps constitute the central sites of remembrance of the crimes committed by National Socialism in Austria. They are to keep the memory of the victims of National Socialism and the responsibility of the perpetrators in the public mind.

At the same time, the Mauthausen Memorial is an international site of remembrance maintaining the remembrance of the victims in their diverse origin, their national affiliation, their ethnic, cultural and political self-awareness, and discussing the impact of this mass murder upon the victimised nations and upon European society as a whole.

Therefore, it will be the task of the Federal Institution to collect, scientifically process and document the historical testimonies it is being entrusted with.