Cumberland Goes To War
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Cumberland Goes To War is a community heritage project coordinated and promoted by Allegany County Tourism in partnership with the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the City of Cumberland, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. Funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Allegany County Commissioners and the City of Cumberland. More information about the project and/or the images in the archive can be obtained by emailing

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[ Air Corps ]
Yoza Dake, Okinawa

[ John McClarran ]
Amphibious Training

[ WWII Insignia Patches ]

[ 29th Infantry ]
Randolph Millholland

[ Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Millholland ]

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Registered: August 2008
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Liberation of Mauthausen
Mauthausen Concentration Camp (also known as Mauthausen-Gusen) was a group of 49 Nazi concentration camps situated around the small town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria, about 20 km east of the city of Linz.

Mauthausen Concentration Camp was established on August 8, 1938, and liberated on May 5, 1945 by the US Army.

Unlike many other concentration camp systems, Mauthausen was used mostly for extermination of the educated people and members of the higher classes in countries occupied by Germany during World War II.

Originally, the largest group of inmates consisted of German socialists, homosexuals and Roma. In early 1940, a large number of Poles were transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen complex, composed mostly of artists, scientists, boy-scouts, teachers and university professors.

In late 1941 a large number of Soviet POWs arrived. This was the first group to be executed in the gas chambers, early in 1942. Previously, exhausted prisoners were transferred to Hartheim Castle, where gas chambers had operated since 1940.

In 1944 a large group of Hungarian and Dutch Jews was also transferred. Most of them either died as a result of the hard labor and poor conditions, or were thrown down the sides of the Mauthausen quarry.

A women's camp opened in Mauthausen in September 1944 with the first transport of female prisoners from Auschwitz. Eventually more women and children came to Mauthausen from Ravensbruck, Bergen Belsen, Gross Rosen, and Buchenwald. With them came some female matrons. Twenty are known to have served in the Mauthausen camp, sixty in the whole camp complex.

Several sub-camps of the KL Mauthausen included munitions factories, quarries, mines, arms factories and Me 262 assembly plants. Also, the inmates were used for slave labour at nearby farms. Those used at the quarries were working 12 hours a day until totally exhausted. Then the inmates were transferred to other concentration camps for extermination, or killed by lethal injection at the camp, and cremated in a local crematorium.

During the final months of the war, some 20,000 prisoners from other concentration camps were marched to the complex. Large groups of Spanish Republicans were also transferred to the camp and its sub-camps.

The estimated number of prisoners that passed through all of the sub-camps is 335,000; most of them were forced to do hard labor in a rock quarry. The rock quarry was at the base of the infamous "stairs of death." Prisoners were forced to carry blocks – often weighing as much as 50 kilograms – up the 186 stairs. Often exhausted prisoners would collapse in front of other prisoners in the line, creating a horrific domino effect all the way down the stairs.

In all, some 119,000 persons were murdered at Mauthausen, whether by execution, starvation, exhaustion, or disease. About 38,000 of these were Jews. Only approximately 80,000 survived the war. Before their escape on May 4, 1945, the SS tried to destroy the evidence and only 40,000 victims were identified.1

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Keywords: Liberation_of_Mauthausen
Additional Categories: European Theater, European Theater
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