and Local-International Platform ST. GEORGEN/GUSEN, Austria

KZ Mauthausen-GUSEN Info-Pages

B R I E F     H I S T O R Y

Mauthausen-Gusen Complex

March 1938
Annexation of Austria to 3rd Reich

April 29, 1938
Foundation of "Deutsch Erd- und Steinwerke GmbH (DEST)"
(as an SS-owned company) at Berlin

August 8, 1938
Foundation of first Baracks at the "Wienergraben"-Valley (2 km east of Gusen)
to exploit the Stone-Quarries there (first inmates came from KZ Dachau)

February 17, 1939
Franz Ziereis, later SS-Standartenfuehrer, becomes commander of the camps at
Mauthausen-Wienergraben and Gusen

December 1939
Foundation of KZ Gusen (I)

March 1940
First barracks ready at KZ Gusen (including fence)

April 1940
800 inmates at KZ Gusen I

May 1940
Polish prisoners only allowed to work in stone-quarry and brick production-plant at Lungitz

June 1940
First direct deportations of Poles via St.Georgen Railway-Station
(They were marched directly through the village until September 1941)

Summer 1940
Foundation of DEST Central Administration for the Mauthausen and Gusen camps
at St. Georgen/Gusen

4000 inmates at KZ Gusen I

January 1, 1941
Mauthausen-Gusen camps become the only Category I camps in Third Reich History
(meaning: camp of no return)

January 29, 1941
Incinerators at KZ Gusen I set into operation

March 1941
Construction begins on the railway between St.Georgen Station and KZ Gusen I

April 27, 1941
Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler visits KZ Gusen

October 10, 1941
Inspector of Concentration Camps SS-Brigadefuehrer Glucks visits KZ Gusen I

Autumn 1941
Hundreds of inmates die due to epidemics in the camp
(Also, 25 SS-Guards die due to the horrible conditions within KZ Gusen I at this time)

Bathing to Death begins (some 3000 victims by January 1942)

End of 1941
KZ Gusen contains some 1000 prisoners more than Mauthausen Central Camp
(planned size with 8,500 inmates reached)

February 1942
First gassings at KZ Gusen (Soviet POW for experimental purposes)

July 5, 1942
Chief of SS-Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt (WVHA), SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Oswald Pohl visits camps at Mauthausen and Gusen

July 19, 1942
Chief of Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD), SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner inaugurates SS-Rifling Range at St.Georgen/Gusen (an SS-Honorary Platoon had to be sent by the Mauthausen Central Camp)

March 29, 1943
Reichsminister Speer visits KZ Gusen accompanied by Senior Executives of Steyr-Daimler-Puch (SDP) and Reichswerke Herman Goering

May 1943
Stone-Production lowered; DEST starts cooperation with Steyr-Daimler-Puch (SDP) at KZ Gusen I
(SDP produces with 22,000 rifles per months nearly 10% of all-German production - a good deal of it at KZ Gusen)

May 6, 1943
SS-Brigadefuehrer Dr. Kammler visits KZ Mauthausen-Gusen by order of Speer (a conference is held later on)

May 25, 1943
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, SS-Gruppenfuehrer Querner and SS-Brigadefuehrer Loerner visit KZ Mauthausen-Gusen

Summer 1943
DEST develops as a sub-contractor of Messerschmitt GmbH (Regensburg)
(DEST manufactures fuselages for Me-109 & Me-262 fighter-aircraft in 4 big barracks at KZ Gusen)

August 17, 1943
First Allied air-raid against Messerschmitt GmbH (Regensburg)

August 22, 1943
Foundation of "Sonderstab Kammler" to safeguard German strategic war-production

November 14, 1943
12-year old civilian Alois Klaubauf (a boy from neighboring Langenstein village) is shot by Chief of Staatspolizeileitstelle Linz during a SS-hunting raid in the forest between River Danube and KZ Gusen. (SS rules with absolute power in the area - also outside the camps; even local civilians are not sure of their lives; investigations of local police were forbidden by GeStaPo-Linz)

January 1, 1944
Foundation of the "JAEGERSTAB" to accelerate production of new fighter-aircraft against Allied Strategic Bombing of Third Reich

January 2, 1944
First prisoners work for "BERGKRISTALL-Bau" (the later KZ Gusen II underground installations)

March 9, 1944
Official opening of KZ Gusen II Concentration Camp
(a few hundred meters west of KZ Gusen I)

May 8, 1944
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl visits KZ Gusen II (Bergkristall construction-site)

June 2, 1944
RFSS Heinrich Himmler visits Mauthausen-Gusen

July 6, 1944
Reichsminister Speer visits underground installations at KZ Gusen and Ebensee.
The next day he reports personally to Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden

September 1944
SDP-plants of RADON and WARSZAWA evacuated to KZ Gusen (414 railway-cars and 69 trucks)
Arbeitsgemeinschaft WNF-Gyoer evacuated to Bergkristall (capacity: 500 Me-262 jet-planes per months)

November 30, 1944
21,000 m2 of bomb-proof production area in operation at KZ Gusen I & II

December 7, 1944
Local Primary School closed to accommodate German refugees and German civilians who work in Bergkristall

December 16, 1944
Official Opening of KZ Gusen III at Lungitz

January 1945
Allied Combined Intelligence Unit (ACIU) finishes plans for the strategic bombardement of Bergkristall (KZ Gusen I & II)

Spring 1945
Direct deportation of thousands of Jewish prisoners from KZ Auschwitz B (Camp Mexiko) to KZ Gusen II (along with the evacuation of KZ Auschwitz)

April 16, 1945
Soviet fighter-planes threw 12 bombs against Bergkristall-entrance to underground railway-station (0300 a.m. in the moring)

End of April
Most of the SS-Guards leave the Mauthausen-Gusen complex (Viennese fire brigades have to guard and maintain order)

May 3, 1945
Production at KZ Gusen underground plants stopped (e.g. 987 Me-262 jet-planes produced until that day at KZ Gusen)

May 5, 1945
Liberation of KZ Mauthausen-Gusen by S/Sgt. Al Kosiek and 23 men
(41st Recon Squad, 11th ArdDiv, 3rd US Army)
Some 500 KZ Gusen inmates die after liberation due to lynching self-justice of liberated prisoners (KZ Mauthausen inmates keep quiet because an internationl comittee of prisoners takes over from American troops)

May 8, 1945
Local population was forced by US-troops to bury the hundreds of corpses that were left lying around by SS-Guards in mass-graves (local children were forced to look at these burials)

May 9, 1945
Official surrender of German Army (End of WWII in Europe)

May 21, 1945
US-troops give power to local police (up to this date there had been two weeks of anarchy in the area, resulting in numerous deaths

May 25, 1945
180 former (criminal) inmates that had functioned as KAPOs of KZ Gusen were sent back by US-troops to (former) KZ Gusen I to safeguard the local population, who had until this date been terrorized by them with their machine-guns

Franz Ziereis, SS-commander of Mauthausen complex, dies in 131st Evacuation Hospital at Gusen
(his body is exhibited at Gusen for several days in the public)

July 28, 1945
US-troops have to move out and leave the whole area to Soviet occupational forces

September 10, 1945
Soviet forces begin to dismantle the KZ Gusen underground installations and equipment

December 21, 1946
Dismantling of KZ Gusen underground installations by Soviet forces completed

July 1947
Final transportation of dismantled equipment to the Soviet Union

September 4, 1947
100 soldiers of Soviet punishment-platoon start demolition of KZ Gusen II tunnels by detonating several tons of (then useless) aircraft bombs

November 15, 1947
Final explosions along with destruction of KZ Gusen II tunnels by Soviet forces

until 1955
Soviets operate KZ Gusen I stone-production facilities with USIA-company named "GRANITWERKE GUSEN"

Soviet Red Army moves out of Austria
(This was the last use of the KZ Gusen I barracks and railway station. After this, the railway was dismantled and all of the former DEST-property was transferred to the Republic of Austria, which privatized all of it later

Memorial KZ Gusen errected by survivors from Italy, France and Belgium to prevent total destruction of KZ Gusen incinerators

Property of Memorial KZ Gusen transferred by survivors to Republic of Austria ...

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Most recent updates of this page were made on
000303 by Rudolf A. HAUNSCHMIED,
Martha Gammer, Siegi Witzany-Durda and
Jan-Ruth White with her students in US-Alabama