21.02.2023 History

“To Save from Oblivion – Extermination Site KL Gusen in Public Awareness” – a panel discussion

The aim of the discussion is to contribute to restoring the memory of Gusen, the former German Nazi concentration camp, in the collective consciousness. KL (Konzentartionslager) Gusen functioned as a part of  the KL Mauthausen-Gusen extermination complex in Austria. To this day, it remains one of the most important memorial sites in Europe and was the place of martyrdom of tens of thousands of victims, both men and women, of several dozen nationalities. For Poles, it is of special significance, not only on account of the highest number of Poland-born prisoners and victims who suffered there, but also as an extermination site of the Polish intelligentsia.

After the war, most of the perpetrators escaped responsibility, and the remains of the Gusen concentration camp began to fall into disrepair. For decades, its memory survived only thanks to a group of former prisoners, their families and local associations. In recent years, thanks to their consistent involvement, and efforts of countries where the victims came from, a real chance has emerged to save the memory of Gusen for posterity.

What is the significance of preserving the memory of KL Gusen, and why it matters not only to the former prisoners, their families, or families of the victims, but also to individuals, the local communities, and whole nations?

These questions will be discussed by the panel members:

Prof.  Guy Dockendorf, Luxemburg, Chairman of the International Mauthausen Committee

Prof. Jan Rydel, Poland, Member of the International Advisory Board of Mauthausen Memorial

Mrs. Martha Gammer, Austria, Gusen Memorial Committee, Founder and Board Member

Prof. em. Jean-Paul Lehners, University of  Luxembourg, Member of European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Council of Europe, Strasbourg

To be preceded by screening of a short film “545 days. And then a lifetime. A film against forgetting. Stanisław Zalewski and his long struggle for a dignified memorial to the former Gusen concentration camp”. Authors: Polish Institute, Vienna, 2022 (18’21’’).

Discussion and screening (transcription) to be held in English.

Tuesday, 21 February at 7 p.m.
Neumünster Abbe
Robert Krieps Room

Scheduled History