|6. March 2017
New study: People of African
Descent in the Mauthausen concentration camp
Todays study is the
most comprehensive study to date conducted on inmates of African origin in the
Nazi-led Mauthausen concentration camp, who have been largely excluded from
scientific research of Austrias past.
On 12 March 1938,
following Hitlers orders German troops marched into Austria where the
National Socialists were to seize power. In summer 1938 the Mauthausen
concentration camp was established. During the next 7 years until 1945,
hundreds of thousands of people were systematically humiliated, tortured and
brutally murdered among them also African women and men. How many
Africans became victims of National Socialism has hardly been studied until
now. Who were the Africans imprisoned in Mauthausen? How many were they? Which
countries were they from and why were they in Mauthausen? Did they survive and
if so, are there any contemporary witnesses?
These questions were
pursued by the studys authors Mag.a. Barbara Fuchslehner and Mag.a. Karin
Röhrling. The studys supervision was managed by Univ. Prof. Walter
Sauer, and journalist and sociologist simon INOU.
The most important
results of the study show: The largest national group among the 157 documented
inmates, came from Algeria (104), Benin Republic (1), Congo DRC (1), Egypt (4),
Guadaloupe (3), La Réunion (2), Madagascar (2), Mali (1), Martinique
(2), Morocco (17), South Africa (1) and Tunisia (19); including 3 women from
Algeria. Reasons for the internment were essentially political: As far as the
historical documents reveal, the affected persons were held in the
concentration camp Mauthausen as protective or
preventative custody prisoners not however due to their skin
colour or on race-related ideological grounds.
Slightly more than half
of the documented inmates (84) survived the liberation of the concentration
camp and could return to their home countries; there are 61 determined cases of
death, often also in satellite camps of Mauthausen. The rest were deported
(where to is unknown) or their fate is unclear.
In our opinion these
findings lead to following conclusion and demands: Installing a memorial for
inmates of African origin at the memorial site Mauthausen (similar to the
existing memorial plaque for Cuban inmates); considering the existence and fate
of concentration camp inmates of African origin in Austrian school books and
teaching materials; facilitating further research, in particular concerning
other concentration camp inmate groups, as well as African forced labour and
prisoners of war, and more generally the situation of Africans under National
This study was made possible in cooperation with
Afrikanet.info, Interior Ministry, fresh/Black Austrian Lifestyle, Elfriede
Pekny Society for the Promotion of Southern African Studies, Mauthausen
Committee Austria (MKÖ), Zukunftsfonds of the Republic of Austria
(sponsor) and the University of Vienna (Library and Information Studies).
Download: Barbara Fuchslehner / Karin Röhrling,
Afrikanerinnen und Afrikaner im KZ Mauthausen: Teilauswertung der
Datenblätter im Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen. Wien 2017.
Preface by simon INOU and Walter Sauer.
More information: simon
INOU (M-MEDIA): firstname.lastname@example.org or Walter Sauer (SADOCC):