Gallows and Cemetery at Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp

Source: Alvin Mewborn Papers (Manuscript Collection #1159)

Staff Person: Maury York

Description: Between 1940 and 1945, Nazi Germany developed a large complex of concentration camps in the vicinity of Mauthausen and Gusen in Austria. Thousands of inmates, many considered to be political enemies of the Third Reich, were subjected to harsh labor in the camps. During this period, between 100,000 and 300,000 of them died there. The camps were liberated in 1945 by Allied forces. Master Sergeant Alvin Mewborn (1917-1999) of Greene County, N.C., a member of the 131st Evacuation Hospital, 11th Armored Division, U.S. Third Army, was among the troops involved in the liberation of the camps. These photographs were saved by Sergeant Mewborn after the war. They show the gallows at Camp Gusen and the cemetery developed by Allied forces to bury the inmates who died following the liberation. The collection contains a number of additional photographs of a much more graphic nature. Mewborn’s papers are among many collections of manuscripts and oral histories in the Special Collections Division’s East Carolina Manuscript Collection that document the history of World War II.