Sunday, May 10, 2015

Guillaume and Stéphanie Commemorate the Liberation of Mauthausen

Photo: Screenshot ORF
Today, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie were in Austria to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp, which consisted of a number of camps around the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Upper Austria near Linz. The camp was liberated on May 5, 1945 by American troops and thus the last concentration camp to be liberated.
Photo: Screenshot ORF
The couple laid a wreath at the Luxembourg memorial, which remembers the 176 Luxembourgish citizens who were deported to the camp between 1938 and 1945. Of these, 60 were killed almost immediately or soon after deportation. The two main camps of Mauthausen concentration camp complex, Mauthausen itself and Gusen I, were intended for those identified as "incorrigible political enemies of the Reich" and as such was designed largely for extermination by intense labour. The "incorrigible political enemies" were ofted selected from among the educated and from the upper social classes of Nazi-invaded countries. In the case of Luxembourg, many of the prisoners at Mauthausen had been members of the Resistance.
Photo: Screenshot ORF
After the wreath-laying, Guillaume and Stéphanie attended the official program to mark liberation of the camp leading the Luxembourgish delegation. The liberation celebration was attended by 22,000 survivors, their relatives, local school children, as well as national and international dignitaries. The Principality of Liechtenstein was represented in the person of Maria-Pia Kothbauer, Princess of Liechtenstein, the country's ambassador to Austria.

More information on the website of the Mauthausen committee. Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also visited the concentration camp during their 2013 state visit to Austria. A video of the commemorations today can be found at ORF, Tageblatt has pictures.

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