On our Upper Austria trip, we were taken to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Mauthausen itself is a beautiful town, now marred by what was once one of the largest labor camps in Europe.
The site is now a memorial, with countless sculptures and plaques dedicated to the victims of the camp.
Mauthausen was easily the most disturbing, depressing, and heartbreaking place I’ve ever been to. After we watched a sickening documentary about the camp, we were taken to key locations: the “Stairs of Death,” the “Parachute Jump,” the sleeping cabins, “Wailing Wall,” and the execution center, where we stood in the gas chamber and crematorium.
It is an awful thing to learn about the horrors that people inflicted upon each other. It is an even more awful thing to stand in the very places where you know that these horrors transpired, and where you know for a fact that people died, in pain and panic.