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jueves, 25 de enero de 2018

MAUTHAUSEN LECTURE AT PEDRO CERRADA SCHOOL!

MAUTHAUSEN LECTURE AT PEDRO CERRADA SCHOOL!

                   FROM WAR TO DEPORTATION IN NAZIS CAMP

CONFERENCE GIVEN BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ASSOCIATION 'AMICAL MAUTHAUSEN IN ARAGON' BECAUSE OF THE COMMEMORATION OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST BY UNITED NATIONS. 

"My father’s brother survived the camp. My mother’s cousin was killed there!!!  " HE SAYS.

·         During the civil war in Spain, rebels who decided to start war against the legal government won so many people had to leave and go pass the frontier to save their lives.

·         France hosted Spanish people in unhealthy places, beaches with no facilities, etc.… 30,000 out of 70,000 who went there died in the first months (the famous writer Antonio Machado and his mother in 1939)

·         “My father didn’t stay. He eventually came back to marry his girlfriend. That’s why luckily, I am here today. He was 28 when he came back." He says.

·         Then, about 50,000 Spanish refugees from exile worked building fortifications for the French.

·        Later, in Dunkerque, they tried to escape, some died of course and some were caught prisoners and went to the so called ‘starlags’ or work camps.

·         In 1940, there was a meeting between Himmler and Serrano Suñer (Franco’s brother in law) when Himmler asked: “What shall we do with them?” and Serrano answered: “If they are not in Spain, they are not Spanish, so do as you want with them”, so they were taken to Mauthausen, where nobody was supposed to escape death.

·         Everything started in 1932, there were elections in Germany and the National Socialism won in Germany.

·         1933 in Dachau, the famous S.S. officers begin to get ready to act.

·         1934 Hitler starts the Shutzhaft for a perfect state with one race and a sort of apartheid for Jewish people begins.

·         Ordinary people would participate in the brutish attempts in the camps later on. Only the leaders would never have been able to carry out such a genocide. Of course, it was more comfortable to kill prisoners than to go to the Russian front and have the option to die there. 

·         9/11/38 That was the ‘Kristallnacht’. From 5% goes to 50% of the Jewish population. 30,000 were deported.

·         The first killing was the handicapped people. 300,000 victims were taken to special centres and gasified with Carbone Monoxide  in the so called ‘AKTION  T4’

·         In 1940, Spanish people went to Mauthausen to work there in the stone mines. It was very hard. 3,846 people were killed in that year.

·         50,000 are in the foreign workers camps in order to do forced work. The’Company 9’ are the Spanish ones who liberated Paris and then went to the residence of Hitler in the last part of the war.

·         In 1941, it was all doctors who went to do the dealing with handicapped people. So they went there and checked also the deported people and "if they can’t work, they are not useful and therefore, they would be sent to the gas cameras and then, to the crematory ovens "(Operation 14F13)

·         In the Heimschloss, there were also victims, part of Mauthausen too, where 18,269 people were killed in several places, not only one: 431 were Spanish and 38 victims of medical experiments.

·         Even 66 had the red triangle distinctive on clothes, meaning that they had been caught from the French resistance front.
Yellow triangle: Jewish
Brown: gypsies
Violet: testigos de Jehovah (they didn’t want to fight or carry out the Salutation.
Pink: gays, lesbian.
Red: Politicians
Black: people who unsociable , who were not into society as single mothers, rebel students, homeless, etc.….
Blue: not belonging to any state or country.

·         The centres had categories: Cat. 1 for people who might be educable, Cat 2 for people who were difficultly educable, and cat 3 for people with no solution like Mauthausen where there were 8,000 Spanish people working and only 2,123 survived. Unfortunately, 125, 000 died.

·         In Gusen. 3,100 Republicans from Spain died.

·         The name given to the burning ovens where they put all the bodies to be burnt was ‘NACHT AND NEBEL’.

·         VERY IMPORTANT: NEVER CONFUSE ‘GERMAN’ WITH ‘NAZI’.There were a lot of Nazis everywhere, even in France, not only in Germany. Without them, the process would never have been the same. Nazis in France were denouncing their neighbours.


·         It was amazing for us  to hear that his uncle was in Mauthausen from 5/4/1941 being 21 years old to 5/5/1945, over 4 years. The first year was terrible because of the cold winter, especially for old people and people who already arrive in bad health conditions.

·         In this photo, we can see him: Manolo San Martin, together with some colleagues, 2 of them survived because they were mechanics and some of them because they were working in the kitchens or other places which were safer than working in the mines and in the Death staircase, where they had to take up 50kg stones while being tortured or menaced by dogs and therefore, killed as soon as they fell over or went out of the queues.

·         The stories told by the survivors are terrible. One anecdote is a commander obliging his 11 year old boy to kill Jewish people with a gun and then after a long time saying that was the most terrible experience in all his life. But “we will never hear the most terrible stories taken place, as those victims are dead and cannot tell them” He says.

·         Over 6 million people were killed, 4% were Spanish. Although, nowadays in the Museum of the Genocide in Washington, they have over 50 million victims and they are still collecting details.

·         The German and the French Governments have apologized whereas the Spanish Government has never said sorry to the victims of the camps. Now, there are no survivors from Mauthausen  any more.


·         We really learnt a lot of things today. It was a very interesting conference. 

       THANKS A LOT TO THE TEACHER RAFA FOR ORGANIZING RHIS EVENT.



If you are interested in further information about the acts in commemoration of the holocaust by United Nations, you can visit this link: 


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