Mauthausen Quarry - Stairs of Death
The Mauthausen concentration camp was a Class III camp where prisoners classified as "Return undesired" were sent. It was a punishment camp where the inmates had to do hard time in a rock quarry. Those on the punishment detail had to carry granite boulders up these steep stairs on their backs once a day.
The photo below shows the sign that is on the wall on the left of the photo above.
A sign in six languages is at the bottom of the "Stairs of Death" in the Mauthausen quarry, but those languages do not include English. Here is the English translation of the sign:
Prisoners from different nationalities worked here.
Under the most primitive safety precaution,
they longed for the biggest job performance with big brutality.
There, you even had the best chance to liquidate
the prisoners in the fastest way.
With a often over 50 kg heavy stone on the back,
in double quick and under constant hits chased around in the quarry
the victim soon broke down,
to die helpless in any corner of the quarry.
The 186 steps in the "Stairs of Death" in the Mauthausen quarry are not as steep as you might think. They have been redone so that tourists can easily climb up and down them. The steps are evenly spaced and there are rest stops, one near the bottom and several near the top. There is no handrail, but there is a stone wall on each side for most of the climb.
This page was last updated on March 26, 2007