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Mauthausen Liberation Celebration 2023
May 11, 2023

Wreath laying ceremony
Wreath laying by the U.S. delegation
“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

U.S. delegation

The U.S. delegation
The U.S. delegation gathering for the wreath laying ceremony

U.S. delegation

The flag with 56 stars
Presenting a reproduction of the flag woven by Mauthausen inmates.

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.

Flag woven by prisoners
Private commemoration for the victims and the liberators
Paul Kosiak (center) plays tabs

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.

Ambassador Victoria Kennedy and Special Envoy Ellen Germain walked with the U.S. delegation to the ceremony. The U.S. Army 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment traveled from Germany to join our commemoration today and to honor the bravery and sacrifice of the inmates and liberators. Together we are committed to ensuring their story is never forgotten.
On their way to the wreath laying
Ambassador Victoria Kennedy and Ellen Germain, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues
The U.S. delegation

Mauthausen Liberation Commemoration 2023