Written by Shalom’s Rimma Dinkin who is currently in Vienna attending Limmud FSU.
As a group of around 70 participants, led by Chaim Chesler, we attended a special service and tour of Mauthaussen. This year marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation, and part of our Limmud experience was this special ceremonial visit.
More than 190,000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned in the Mauthasen and Gusen camps that we visited. It is estimated that at least 90,000 of them were killed.
Standing in the same place they did, we learned about the atrocities they suffered. We honoured the memory of Simon Wiesenthal, who not only survived his time at Mauthaussen, but spent years working to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Joined by his granddaughter, we took part in a candle-lighting service. A total 6 candles were lit – for the 6 million Jews that died in the holocaust.
We stood at the Jewish memorial and prayed, together.
It was a haunting and sombre experience that I will always remember.
If you want to find out more about Mauthausen and the amazing work they do preserving history, please visit their website: https://www.mauthausen-memorial.org