Mauthausen – The parachute jump and the stairs of death

Two images for today. To speed up the series or to rebound yesterday’s day off.

This, was the rock quarry. The work place for the thousands of prisoners at the concentration camp. The schedule was of 12 hours each day, from 8 am to 8 pm, weekends were easier, as the work was over by 4 pm. The inmates had to climb the 186 stairs of the quarry, carrying large blocks of granite on their backs. Often did they tripped, or fell, the block killing the others behind. The SS guards even started betting on who will make it to the top first.

For the parachute jump, i will quote from Konnilyn Feig, 1979, Hitler’s Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness, New York: Holmes and Meier. p. 121

Often Prisoners were made to run up and down the stairs till most were dead. Sometimes the remaining ones would be made to jump off the top of the quarry. SS humor coined it “ the parachute jump”. In 1941 a large group of Jews from the Netherlands were given “special treatment”. They were made to slide down the loose stones on the side of the staircase. Many of them died in the effort. The survivors were made to run up and down the steps with 25 kilo stones on their backs. Often the stones fell on feet and legs of those behind. Those who lost the rock were brutally beaten. For two days the SS drove the Jews up and down the steps. On the third day, driven by despair, the remaining Jews joined hands and leaped over the precipice tp their death in the quarry below.


One response to “Mauthausen – The parachute jump and the stairs of death”

  1. hey Rady,
    Thanks for all the comments on my blog… this is a way cool shot, I like the sepia tone. The shapes in the scene are beautiful. Hope all is well!

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