On the orders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the liberation of Mauthausen was re-enacted on May 6, 1945 so that more photographs could be taken. In March 1945, the 11th moved into the Rhineland and advanced eastward into the heart of Germany. This photo was staged the next day, 6 May 1945, to celebrate the liberation. Because of that the Polish, Soviet and French prisoners prepared a plan for an assault on the barracks of the SS guards in order to seize the arms necessary to put up a fight. Men from the 80th Infantry Division moved into Ebensee on May 6. Casualty figures for the 11th Armored Division, European theater of operations: "Thunderbolt" is a nickname adopted by the 11th Armored Division during its rapid march in December 1944 to reinforce US troops defending against the German military offensive in the Ardennes Forest. The 11th Armored moved to the camps to discover that they were 2 of Germany's concentration camps, Gusen and Mauthausen. The photograph above was taken on May 6,… The survivors of Ebensee sub-camp shortly after their liberation. Albert J. Kosiek served with the 11th Armored Division from November, 1942 until the division was deactivated. The 11th Armored Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the US Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1985. The next day, the 11th Armored Division entered the Mauthausen concentration camp. Most of the inmates of German and Austrian nationality "volunteered" for the SS-Freiwillige Häftlingsdivision, an SS unit composed mostly of former concentration camp inmates and headed by Oskar Dirlewanger. Download this stock image: Tanks of U.S. 11th Armoured Division entering the Mauthausen concentration camp; banner in Spanish reads Antifascist Spaniards greet the forces of liberation. Non-Battle Casualties 1,921 12. The reconnaissance squad was led by S/SGT Albert J. Kosiek. At the same time, the underground factories were being dismantled and sent to the USSR as a war booty. 11th Armored Division Legacy Group. The prisoners transferred to the "Hospital Sub-camp" received one piece of bread per 20 inmates and roughly half a litre of weed soup a day. On 5 May 1945 the camp at Mauthausen was approached by a squad of US Army Soldiers of the 41st Reconnaissance Squadron of the US 11th Armored Division, 3rd US Army. Combat Command B with its command post in Gallneukirchen was charged with securing the northern flank of the attack on Linz. Washington, DC 20024-2126 The inmates unable to cope with the hard labour and malnutrition were exterminated in large numbers to free space for newly-arrived evacuation transports from other camps, including most of the sub-camps of Mauthausen-Gusen located in eastern Austria. Seventy-five years ago, the 11th Armored Division of the U.S. 3rd Army liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. 11th Armored Division Patch: Liberated Gusen (Mauthausen subcamp), May 5, 1945, and Mauthausen, May 6, 1945. Item View Object Commemorative poster of the 11th Armored Division featuring colored depictions of the Unit's badges, shields, crests, and symbols. Includes scenes of surrendering enemies and the liberation of Mauthausen. On the orders of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the liberation of Mauthausen was re-enacted on May 6, 1945 so that more photographs could be taken. The camps of Mauthausen-Gusen were the last to be liberated during the World War II. This copy belonged to Ray Buch, a Sergeant in the Unit during World War II, who later served as unit historian. In the unit's "sanitary report" of May 25, 1945, the division's Medical Inspector stated that "the situation in the camp on the arrival of the US Forces was one of indescribable filth and human degradation." On 3 May the SS and other guards started to prepare for evacuation of the camp. All work in the sub-camps of Mauthausen stopped and the inmates focused on preparations for their liberation - or defence of the camps against a possible assault by the SS divisions concentrated in the area. Out of all the main sub-camps of Mauthausen-Gusen only Gusen III was to be evacuated. During the invasion of German-held Austria, in May 1945 the 11th Armored (the "Thunderbolt" division) overran two of the largest Nazi concentration camps in the country: Mauthausen and Gusen. The most brutal experience for the men of the 11th Armored came on May 5th when a Cavalry patrol reported a heavily guarded encampment. In the early summer of 1947, the Soviet forces had blown the tunnels up and were then withdrawn from the area, while the camp was turned over to Austrian civilian authorities. The Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army on May 5, 1945. During the final months before liberation, the camp's commander Franz Ziereisprepared for its defence against a possible Soviet offensive. The U.S. We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing 1. The 11th US Armored Division’s advances through Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. Some 8,000 survivors in the camp, the report continued, were in need of immediate medical care and more than half of the camp's inmates "were little more than skeletons." Mauthausen was … Unlike Mauthausen, much of what constituted the sub-camps of Gusen I, II and III is now covered by residential areas built there after the war. Advance of Combat Command A and B, 11th Armored Division, between 1st and 6th May 1945. Current results range from 1942 to 1997. This made some of the prisoners, previously engaged in various types of resistance activity, begin to prepare plans to defend the camp in case of an SS attempt to exterminate all the remaining inmates. In the unit's "sanitary report" of May 25, 1945, the division's Medical Inspector stated that "the situation in the camp on the arrival of the US Forces was one of indescribable filth and human degradation." The Division was activated on … Mauthausen, Austria's largest concentration camp, was known by Nazis as the 'Bone Mill' ... A platoon of 23 men from the 11th Armored Division of the US Third Army, led by Staff Sgt. The reconnaissance squad was led by Staff Sergeant Albert J. Kosiek. Among the inmates liberated from the camp was Lieutenant Jack Taylor, an officer of the Office of Strategic Services. Wounded 2,562 8. Liberation of German town: flames, civilians, some waving white flags, church. Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics, Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically, Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust, Explore the ID Cards to learn more about personal experiences during the Holocaust. The Thunderbolt Division - 11th Armored -- had tackled two ace Nazi divisions, punched them back six miles in five freezing days, cleared 30 square miles of rugged terrain, liberated more than a dozen towns and ended the threat to the supply route. As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they found tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners in deplorable conditions.e Malnutrition and disease were rampant, and corpses lay unburied. Initially, the Soviet authorities used parts of the Mauthausen and Gusen I camps as barracks for the Red Army. The following day, the SS guards deserted the camp, leaving the prisoners to their fate. The photo was taken on 6 May 1945 - DYET91 from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. The following month, the unit moved southward from Thuringia into Bavaria, capturing Coburg on April 11 and Bayreuth on April 14. In the words of Mrs. Clarke "Without the 11th Armored Division, none of us would be here." It underwent combat training at Camp Polk and Camp Barkeley, Tex., desert maneuvers at Camp Ibis, Calif., and combat readiness training at Camp Cooke, Calif., until June 1944. Mauthausen was finally liberated by the prisoners on May 5th, 1945, the only camp to be taken this way. The report stated that 19,000 prisoners were crammed into bunks meant to accommodate around 5,000 persons and that the two- and three-level bunks held 10 to 20 prisoners each. The 11th Armored Division has a proud and distinguished heritage. He first served in Rcn. During the final months before liberation, the camp's commander Franz Ziereis prepared for its defence against a possible Soviet offensive. In the course of carrying out these orders, units chanced across the concentration camps of Gusen and Mauthausen. The camps of Mauthausen-Gusen were the last to be liberated during the World War II. Members of an “International Committee” formed by the prisoners in the last days of April administered the camp as units of the US Army arrived at the camp and secured the surrounding area on May 5. That same day Gusen and Melk fell into American hands. On May 7, other units of the 11th Armored Division entered Mauthausen. Finally, 30 years after camp's liberation, on 3 May 1975, Chancellor Bruno Kreisky officially opened the Mauthausen Museum. work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. Color: Countryside from moving tank. Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates the number at over 95,000, but this includes the deaths at the nearby Gusen camps (where more inmates died than actually at the Mauthausen main camp), and also all the other outlying sub-camps of the Mauthausen system. Launching an attack from Neufchâteau, Belgium, 30 December, the 11th defended the highway to Basto… His troop disarmed the policemen and left the camp. Ross Snowdon is a veteran of the 11th Armored Division. Screened by harassing artillery fire, the division was relieved the next day by the 17th Airborne Div. Liberation of German town: … Her daughter, Eva Nathan Clarke, was born in Mauthausen Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945. The police officer in charge of the unit accepted the "inmate self-government" as the camp's highest authority and Martin Gerken, until then the highest-ranking kapo prisoner in the Gusen's administration (in the rank of Lagerälteste, or the Camp's Elder), became the new de facto commander. He was platoon sergeant of the first platoon. Mauthausen-Gusen was part of a network of nearly 100 camps inside Austria, and thousands around Europe, at which six million Jews and millions of other innocent civilians were murdered simply for their religion, ethnic background, political beliefs, or […] On 5 May 1945 the camp at Mauthausen was approached by soldiers of the 41st Recon Squad of the US 11th Armored Division, 3rd US Army. On 1 May the inmates were rushed on a death march towards Sankt Georgen, but were ordered to return to the camp after several hours. Captured 10. The 11th Armored Division was activated on August 15, 1942 at Camp Polk, La. The U.S. Embassy, in cooperation with the Mauthausen Committee Austria, rededicated 3 plaques honoring the U.S. military for liberating the camp, and laid a wreath in memory of those who perished at the site. However, it was not until 1949 that it was declared a national memorial site. 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