Melk


About seventy kilometres east of Mauthausen and about ten miles west of Vienna, there is a small town with about 5000 inhabitants called Melk. Here in the city’s military barracks (pionier barracks), the Nazis set up a satellite camp for Mauthausen. The camp existed between April 21, 1944 and April 15, 1945, and about 14,400 prisoners of different nationalities were allowed to work on constructing a large tunnel complex between Melk and Loosdorf. The purpose of the tunnel was to locate parts of the German war industry (Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG) inside the rock because intense Allied bombing severely damaged the German war industry. Work on building the tunnel was devastating and the number of deaths rose so that the Nazis had to build a crematorium in order to get rid of the bodies. Of the approximately 4,800 prisoners who died in Melk, about 3,500 were cremated in the crematorium just outside the camp. Between April 11 and 15, the prisoners were evacuated to Mauthausen and Ebensee.

Current status: Partly preserved/demolished with monument (2008).

Address: Schiesstattweg 8, 3390 Melk.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The former camp area, or at least parts of it, is within a military area and it is doubtful if there are any barracks left. The museum consists of a crematorium with limited opening hours. However, in 2008 it was possible to borrow the key to the museum from an elderly lady in the house (no 10) below the crematorium. This makes it possible to visit the crematorium on your own.

Follow up in books: Kogon, Eugen: The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (2006).