Large jute sack which was used for forced labor transporting stones in the Gusen camp. On one side there is a large Nazi eagle and swastika emblem, and on the other side it says "R. G. H. Vpfl. 1942". Near the top edge:"GUSEN".
Sacks of this type were used by the German army for various purposes, and in various places, also for internal purposes of transporting large quantities of mail (during the occupation of Norway by the Nazis and elsewhere), etc. The identification of the sack as one used for forced labor is made according to the source from which we received the sack, and also according to the GUSEN stamp which designated it for the concentration camp.
Gusen was a complex of three concentration camps, the first branch of the Mauthausen camp in Austria. It was established about 4.5 km west of Mauthausen, near the town of St. Georgen on the Gusen River. Gusen began operating on March 9, 1940. From May 1940 until the end of that year, about 5,000 Polish prisoners arrived at the camp and were employed in quarries and a brick factory there. By the end of that year, 1,507 of them had died and were recorded in the camp's separate list of victims. In addition to them, about 240 Polish officers and students were executed by firing squad.
On March 9, 1944, another camp, Gusen II, was established nearby with about 10,000 prisoners. In December 1944, another small camp, Gusen III, was established with 262 prisoners. In Gusen II, the prisoners were employed in digging underground tunnels for armament factories. The living conditions of the prisoners in the Gusen camps were extremely harsh. The fast work pace was achieved by staff that was mostly composed of convicted criminals, and they ruthlessly murdered the weakened prisoners. From October 1941 until May 1942 alone, 2,151 Soviet prisoners of war were recorded in the camp's book of the dead, in addition to victims of other nationalities. In total, 67,677 prisoners were imprisoned in the Gusen camps, of whom 31,535 were recorded dead. To this number should be added according to a careful estimate an additional 2,500 deaths, mostly Jews, who were not recorded in the camp books, and another 2,630 who were sent from the Gusen camps to Hartheim Castle and murdered there.
The camps were liberated on May 5, 1945 by the U.S. Army. Towards liberation, about 2,000 prisoners were in very poor condition, and they died near liberation.
Size: 130x63 cm. Good condition.