MARKO ZINK | M 48° 15′ 24.13″ N, 14° 30′ 6.31″ E
“Mauthausen is synonymous with the Holocaust in Austria, stands for the most unspeakable, inhumane atrocities in the country’s history.
Mauthausen is an edifice, a memorial, a site, exposed on a hill, still hidden to the cursory glance, surrounded by fertile farmland and hunting stands.
Did you know that by now all the original shower heads of the former gas chamber are no longer there, that they have been secretly removed by visitors?
The Nazi regime swept away any democratic victory; nothing remained but hatred for people, for each individual that contradicted their racial ideology. Enemies were invented. The populace was manipulated and let itself be manipulated. The collective this created wiped out the self-determined individual. And this, in turn, relegated the ostensible “other” to an amorphous mass ready for extinction.
Did you know that each barracks (52 × 8 meters) “housed” an average of about 500 prisoners?
This system made us perpetrators. Both the (collective) attempt to explain—“we did not know”—and the claim that Austria itself was but a victim of Germany are still going strong today, but these reassuring stories do not actually provide reassurance as they have never been true.
Did you know that Mauthausen had a soccer field, located right next to the “quarantine camp,” and that not only SS officers but also nearby residents were invited to big soccer games while the concentration camp was in operation?
Did you know that shortly before the “liberation” thousands of dead bodies were interred on this soccer field as well as in the immediate surroundings at one of the area’s most prominent lookouts, the “Marbacher Linde,” without a single reference today to what happened there?
Did you know that these dead bodies were only exhumed as late as the 1960s and for years stored in coffins at a military base by the garage yard, directly in the former concentration camp, before the identified bodies could be flown to “their” country and interred there?
These questions lead to my multipart series of photographs. The works are complemented by titles that permit several approaches and perspectives: geodata, background information about the individual shots, titles borrowed from Theodor W. Adorno’s writings, and titles by Thomas Licek, the project director of the Month of Photography Vienna.”