29 July 2013
- this page contains some graphic pictures,but nevertheless a part of history that should never be forgotten
Internet we take for granted these days, that is …until you start travelling and have to rely on various supplied sources. The Hostel I stayed in was on 22 days old (it said on the sign) The did not have a strong internet connection and had to pay per day for usage. The speed was extremely slow, resulting in a useless internet service
. Mac Donald's just down the street was not much better. Perhaps it is the local system as a whole which is in need of improvement. I have just arrived in Munich Having gone through extremes in weather conditions. This morning I loaded the bike in the shade as at 8.45 Am it was already 34 degrees. Later this would change however. After passing through Austria into Germany thick black clouds had gathered at the horizon. Not long after the sun disappeared and the temperature started to drop. I expected rain so I made a stop to put on my wet weather gear. !5 minutes later I was suddenly hit with a very heavy rainstorm. As I was in the country side I could nothing but to brave it and keep on riding except… the rain was cold. Soon after I got very cold while my walking boots had filled up with water. Anyway I made it to Munich in one piece albeit a bit nervous about crossing many dozens of slippery tram crossings. Anyway back the internet. Ever since starting my trip and using hostels since day 1 , wifi and internet is provided free of charge. Today I was told that I would be charged using the service. On top of that the manager wanted to charge me for parking the bike. It is the same as a car he said. No way I answered look how wet I am, a motorcycle is defiantly not a car. And also I don’t need a cars spot as a m/c can be put in the smallest spaces. Anyway I had a win with that one.
Today I rode the rout from Bratislava to Vienna-Linz- Munich; about 12 km before Linz is the town of Mauthausen
For those in the know the name Mauthausen brings shivers down the spine
. Mauthausen is synonymous while Auschwitz, Dachau, Saksenhausen and Birkenau to name but a few. The Mauthausen concentration camp was a bit different though. It was not build as a extermination camp per se although thousands were gassed here. The camp is situated on a hillside next to a stone quarry where mainly man were used as slave labour and literally worked to death.
Once their body weight reached around 40 kg they would become too weak and were subsequently murdered by a bullet at first and later by means of a gas chamber.
The site is well preserved due to the wall and main building being constructed out of granite.
People were forced to work in the quarry below the site. They first walked through the gate and along a rough rocky track until they reached the stairs leading down to the quarry. They worked with hammers and chisels and would take the 40-50 kg blocks on their backs walking back up the stairs. Anyone going too slow would receive a beating along the way. Anyone too sick was placed in a separated group and gassed to death.
Mauthausen…a moving place.