After the Holocaust, approximately 2,400 Jewish refugees were housed in the nearby Bindermichen camp. Only 26 Jews survived the National Socialist regime in Linz, Upper Austria, and, up to 1947, of them only 13 actually returned to Linz. Although this number slightly increased later, it, nevertheless, demonstrates the end of the old Jewish community in Linz.
Some of the thousands of Jews who had lived in Linz after the war were survivors of the Mauthausen concentration camp, others came to Linz as Displaced Persons, among them Simon Wiesenthal. The handful of Jews from Linz who returned to the city after the Holocaust formed, together with the refugees, the core of a new community which was established in 1947/1948. A new synagogue was built in 1967/68 by architect Fritz Goffitzer on the site of the destroyed synagogue at Bethlehemstrasse 26. The interior paintings were made by the artist Fritz Froehlich.
In 2001 there were approximately 100 Jews living in Linz. The Jewish community maintains a cemetery in addition to the synagogue. The community is active in a number of fields, among them special attention is given to Jewish cultural heritage.
About 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz situated in the small town of Mauthausen there is a Memorial with a permanent exhibition on the Mauthausen concentration camp and its satellite camps.
The concentration camp was built by the SS in August 1938, five months after the Anschluss (Austria’s annexation to the German Reich). This camp was to become the first concentration camp outside the “Old Reich” and one of the most notorious camps within the entire Nazi camp system.
From its official establishment until the liberation of the camp in May 1945, altogether almost 200,000 prisoners from numerous European and non-European countries had to endure inhuman conditions of internment and torture by the SS. More than half of them did not survive their imprisonment. The living conditions were extremely squalid, all were undernourished and diseases without proper medical attention caused many deaths. The prisoners died of exhaustion as a consequence of the exploitation of their labor power, of epidemics due to the disastrous hygienic conditions, were tortured to death, shot by SS guards or murdered in the gas chambers of Mauthausen. The concentration camp of Mauthausen was liberated on May 5, 1945, by the United States 11th Armored Division. Among the liberated prisoners was Simon Wiesenthal, who published in 1946 a book entitled KZ Mauthausen, Bild und Wort (“Mauthausen Concentration Camp – Pictures and Words”).
The area of the Mauthausen Memorial includes a quarry, an important factor for choosing this location by the Nazis, and, at the same time, through its function as an instrument of exploitation and extermination, a symbol of Mauthausen; on the site, there are also numerous original buildings: several cemeteries, as well as the “ash dump”, the last resting place for victims hailing from almost all parts of Europe are situated on the site of the Memorial and form the core of this “place of commemoration”.
Ebensee Concentration Camp Memorial
The concentration camp Ebensee was established as a satellite camp of Mauthausen on November 18th, 1943, near the village of Ebensee in Upper Austria. It was one of over 40 outposts of the concentration camp Mauthausen, where prisoners had to work for the German armament industry.