“On the anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp, we honor all the victims from over 40 nations who were held here, and those who liberated it 78 years ago.”
Ellen Germain, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues
On May 5, 1945, the U.S. 11th Armored Division of the 3rd U.S. Army liberated around 40,000 prisoners at Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Inmates later presented commanding officer Col. Richard Seibel with a hand-sewn U.S. flag they had secretly created upon hearing of the Americans’ approach. Col. Seibel flew this unique flag and symbol of hope over Mauthausen. After the war, he presented the flag to Mauthausen survivor Simon Wiesenthal, who dedicated his life to documenting the crimes of the Holocaust.
This year Paul Kosiek, son of Mauthausen and Gusen liberator Albert Kosiek, joined a private commemoration and played taps, the traditional military bugle call, to honor his father’s memory. U.S. Defense Attache Col. Erik Bauer’s remarks set the moving tone of the ceremony.