Memorial Service Committee Gusen

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The Gusen Memorial Service Committee is a local-international organization whose members, together with concentration camp survivors, their families and local and international organizations, regional authorities and authorities, have been involved in researching the history and preserving the memory of the more than thirty years 40,000 victims of the former Gusen concentration camp complex, neglected for decades, and the preservation of the buildings belonging to the former "Gusen camp".

According to its legal form, it is a non-profit association registered in Austria under the designation "Gusen Memorial Committee (GMC)" with its seat in St. Georgen an der Gusen . Martha Gammer has been chairwoman since 2008 . All members of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee work on a voluntary basis. The Gusen Memorial Service Committee is dependent on voluntary donations in order to carry out the extensive historical activities.

About the term "Gusen"

In the name of this research and memorial organization, the term “Gusen” stands for around two thirds of the area formerly claimed by the regional concentration camp complex St. Georgen- Gusen - Mauthausen , which has always been systematically derived from research and narrative on the former Mauthausen concentration camp , especially in Austria was excluded and has not yet been taken into account in research and official culture of remembrance in accordance with its importance.

For the Memorial Service Committee Gusen, the term "Gusen" mainly includes:

  • The former Gusen I concentration camp (KL Gusen I), the history of which began as a twin camp of roughly the same size as the former Mauthausen concentration camp as early as 1938, and with it de facto formed the Mauthausen-Gusen double camp from 1940.
  • The regional administrative center of Deutsche Erd- und Steinwerke GmbH in St. Georgen / Gusen, which was the regional branch of the Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA) of the SS in Berlin through which the concentration camp prisoners in the concentration camps of Mauthausen and Gusen and above were also exploited economically.
  • The countless infrastructure elements and industrial operations that served the former Mauthausen-Gusen double camp in St. Georgen and Gusen in particular (e.g. the railway line or the SS shooting range in St. Georgen / Gusen).
  • The gigantic underground facilities, which had to be created under the camouflage names "cellar building" and " rock crystal " by prisoners from the concentration camps of Gusen (especially KL Gusen II ) under unimaginably inhumane conditions
  • The former Gusen III concentration camp in Lungitz (KL Gusen III) with the associated infrastructure elements .


The long-term research efforts and memorial service activities of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee over the past three decades have made it possible to bring the largely forgotten importance of the former Gusen concentration camps back into the consciousness of a wider public, which has ultimately changed in recent years Above all, the Austrian state dealt with the legacy of the tens of thousands of Gusen concentration camp victims. The Gusen Memorial Service Committee was able to achieve the following, especially with the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna :

  • The renovation of the Gusen Memorial (2002)
  • The construction of the Gusen visitor center (2004)
  • The realization of the audio path Gusen (2007)
  • The stronger involvement of St. Georgen and Gusen in the external commentary on the Mauthausen Memorial, which has existed for decades (2009)
  • Joint activities to create an underground memorial in the former " B8 Bergkristall " tunnel system (2010)

The Gusen Memorial Service Committee, represented by consultant Rudolf Haunschmied, acted as a driving force at the so-called Round Table of the Federal Monuments Office (BDA) from 2010 to 2015 in order to finally, after many missed decades, ensure adequate monument protection for the structural remains of the former Gusen I concentration camp ( in Langenstein) and Gusen II (in St. Georgen / Gusen). The Gusen Memorial Service Committee also played a leading role in developing the idea for a St. Georgen-Gusen-Mauthausen awareness region from the very beginning.

Since 2011, members of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee have also been intensively supporting the activities of the then newly founded platform Johann Gruber. B. 2013 successfully implemented the monument project "Denk.Statt Johann Gruber" in front of the parish church of St. Georgen / Gusen.

In addition to all these achievements, the members of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee have also looked after concentration camp survivors, their relatives, liberators, scientists, students and other interested parties on site for decades and carry out basic research work themselves in archives and with contemporary witnesses.

The participation in numerous television documentaries and scientific works and publications underlines the efforts in this regard. So was z. For example, the Regensburg antiquarian Reinhard Hanausch was honored in 2014 at the international commemoration ceremony in Gusen for his excellent memorial service work on Gusen with his project "Survival through Art" by the Gusen Memorial Service Committee.


The Gusen Memorial Service Committee was formed from the Working Group for Heritage, Monument and Historical Preservation St. Georgen / Gusen, founded in 1986, and the local-international platform 75 Years of the Republic , which worked with surviving prisoners, the International Mauthausen Committee, the Austrian Mauthausen Camp Community and the The Federal Ministry of the Interior organized the first local-international commemoration in Gusen in 1995. As important founding and board members, Martha Gammer and Rudolf Haunschmied have also been active in a variety of ways to this day as the supporting pillars of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee.

In 1989, the founding members, together with the market town of St. Georgen / Gusen and the Adult Education Center of the Chamber of Labor, also focused their memorial service efforts on informing the local population, who in many cases only moved to the region years after the Second World War or, in a kind of trauma, the terrible events of not handed down at the time. For many years, Rudolf Haunschmied in particular offered study circles and historical walks in the footsteps of the former Gusen concentration camps in St. Georgen, which were also very well received by the population.

In 1996, in a project with students of the Alfred Hrdlicka master class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the market town of St. Georgen / Gusen, initial considerations began for a memorial path in Gusen, which ultimately resulted in the Gusen audio path in 2007 .

As early as 1997, the Mauthausen-Gusen Info-Pages went online for the first time. They were used intensively for almost twenty years as a platform for the international exchange of information on the former “Gusen part of the camp” and made it possible to find out about the former concentration camps from all over the world von Gusen to reassemble.

In 1996 members of the Gusen Memorial Service Committee also campaigned for the renovation of the Gusen Memorial , which had become dilapidated at the time , which was then carried out in 2002.

In the years 2000 to 2001, founding member Rudolf Haunschmied worked very actively in the so-called Mauthausen reform initiative of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for concentration camp memorials in Austria, and the proponents of the so-called Gusen Personnel Committee with Martha Gammer successfully endeavored to establish it of the Gusen visitor center, which opened in 2004 at the Gusen Memorial.


  • Nomination for “Straznik Pamieci” [Guardian of the Memorials] by the high-circulation Polish political magazine “Do Rzeczy” in Warsaw (2016)
  • Promotion Prize of the Province of Upper Austria - Ideas competition for adult education, co-award winner in the platform 75 Years of the Republic - From the past to the future (1995)


The Gusen Memorial Service Committee is a member of the following other organizations:


  1. Central Register of Associations (ZVR) No. 956593891
  2. See Rudolf Haunschmied, Jan-Ruth Mills and Siegi Witzany-Durda. St-Georgen-Gusen-Mauthausen - Concentration Camp Mauthausen Reconsidered. Gusen Memorial Committee. Norderstedt 2007. ISBN 978-3-8334-7440-8 .
  3. See Stanislaw Dobosiewicz. Gusen extermination camp. Mauthausen studies. Series of publications by the Mauthausen Memorial, Volume 5. Vienna, 2007.
  4. Platform Johann Gruber (ed.). Think instead of Johann Gruber - New ways of remembrance culture. Wagner publishing house. Linz, 2014. ISBN 978-3-902330-93-2 .
  6. See also Rudolf Haunschmied: The population of St. Georgen / Gusen and Langenstein. Dealing with camp history, rejection and probation initiatives. In: Memorials for the Victims of National Socialism in Poland and Austria - Inventories and Development Perspectives (proceedings for the conference at the Scientific Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in September 2010 in Vienna), Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-631 -62461-6 .
  7. See Andrea Wall: From the past to the future. The time of National Socialism in St. Georgen / Gusen. The Austrian Adult Education Center - Requirements for Adult Education, No. 176, June 1995.

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