Initially, the groups evacuated from Auschwitz consisted of qualified workers for the ever-growing industry of Mauthausen and its subcamps, but as the evacuation proceeded other categories of people were also transported to Mauthausen, Gusen, Vienna or Melk. The camp provided slave labour to work previously abandoned stone quarries nearby. Finally, after Adolf Eichmann visited Mauthausen in May of that year, Mauthausen received the first group of roughly 8, Hungarian Jews from Auschwitz; the first group to be evacuated from that camp before the Soviet advance. About 38, of the dead were Jews.
The first transports from Auschwitz arrived in February The Soviet prisoners of war were a major part of the first groups to be gassed in the newly built gas chamber in early It was established in April , shortly after Austria was annexed to Nazi Germany. Zeltlager just outside the Mauthausen subcamp, where roughly 2, people were forced into tents intended for not more than inmates, and then starved to death. The Nazis delivered unruly prisoners and captured escapees from other camps to Mauthausen for punishment by beating, hard labour, shooting, or gassing. Initially, the groups evacuated from Auschwitz consisted of qualified workers for the ever-growing industry of Mauthausen and its subcamps, but as the evacuation proceeded other categories of people were also transported to Mauthausen, Gusen, Vienna or Melk. The SS guards would often force prisoners — exhausted from hours of hard labour without sufficient food and water — to race up the stairs carrying blocks of stone. An estimated 1, Slovenes died in Mauthausen. About 38, of the dead were Jews. Heim was dubbed "Doctor Death" by the inmates; he was in Gusen for seven weeks, which was enough to carry out his experiments. Their treatment depended largely on the category assigned to each inmate , as well as their nationality and rank within the system. The reasons for sending them to work in the "punishment detail" were trivial, and included such "crimes" as not saluting a German passing by. The second transport in June of that year was much larger and numbered some 1, prisoners. Most of them were kept in huts separated from the rest of the camp. In early April , at least 2, more female prisoners came from the female subcamps at Amstetten , St. These numbers reflected the increasing use of Polish, Czech, Russian, and Balkan teenagers as slave labour as the war continued. While the food rations were increasingly limited every month, the heavy industry necessitated skilled specialists rather than unqualified workers and the brutality of the camp's SS and Kapos was limited. Most of the prisoners at the subcamps of Mauthausen had been kept in a number of different detention sites before they arrived. There were also 23 Romani children, 20 so-called "anti-social elements", six Spaniards, and three Jehovah's Witnesses. About , prisoners passed through Mauthausen. The most notable of such centres for Mauthausen and its subcamps were the camps at Dachau and Auschwitz. The conditions within the camp were considered exceptionally hard to bear, even by concentration camp standards. The camp provided slave labour to work previously abandoned stone quarries nearby. In , a large group of Hungarian and Dutch Jews, about 8, people altogether, was also transferred to the camp. The so-called kapos , or prisoners who had been recruited by their captors to police their fellow prisoners, were given more food and higher pay in the form of concentration camp coupons which could be exchanged for cigarettes in the canteen, as well as a separate room inside most barracks. In November , Soviet prisoners of war began arriving. Most of them were former Republican soldiers or activists who had fled to France after Franco 's victory and then were captured by German forces after the defeat of France in or handed over to the Germans by the Vichy authorities.
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