Surviving Mauthausen: Martin Small Manages Nearly Impossible Feat

Martin Small, 91, remembers all too well the terrible hell of Mauthausen concentration camp. When the camp was liberated in the spring of 1945 by American forces, Martin had been left for dead in the barracks of the subcamp of Gusen. He was still in his twenties, barely 75 pounds and unconscious when an American GI picked him up and carried him to an Army ambulance headed for a hospital in Linz.

Before liberation, he worked in the crematoria, burying inmates who had lost their lives due to hunger, disease, murder, torture, the cold and death in the gas chambers, as pictured in this historical photograph to the right.

“I still don’t know how I survived,” says Martin Small, who currently lives with his wife, Doris, in Colorado.

Martin’s life story is in a new book called Remember Us: From my shtetl through the Holocaust, sparing the reader with the most gruesome details of Mauthausen, is a work of history and personal struggle for survival. Remember Us focuses mostly on Martin’s shtetl life in pre-war Poland and his plight as a refugee. Yet, if the reader cares to investigate on his own, there are many sources on Mauthausen concentration camp on the internet.

In this photo, above, a guard with a machine gun watches over prisoners in the main courtyard.

For more information on Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, including photographs, click here and here.

Reality of the Holocaust on Film & in Personal Collections

Not enough can be said in protest of those few who deny the reality of the Holocaust. Some of this denial is a thinly veiled means to deny the right of the state of Israel to exist. If the Holocaust can be minimalized then the state of Israel would have no reason to have been formed. But, worse, Holocaust denial is a refutation of the evil that took the lives of more than 50 million people during WWII. It is an invalidation of unspeakable loss, suffering, tragedy, murder and inhumanity. To refuse admission to the evils of the Holocaust is to be counted among the kinds of minds that enabled such events to take place.

Yet, the fact remains that the Holocaust is the single most well-documented event in human history. Moreover, the records of the Holocaust are not the records of the Jews, but rather of the Germans, Nazis, Soviets, French, resistance fighters, U.S. Military, doctors, Poles, prisoners, aid workers, Italians, Dutch, British and others.

Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers brought home with them memorabilia in the form of personally taken photographs and documents to remind them of what they had witnessed first hand upon liberating Nazi concentration camps.

When Martin Small was rescued from Mauthausen concentration camp in Linz, Austria, he was, like thousands of others, a mere skeleton, weighing no more than 75 pounds. He was unconscious and left among the dead in his barracks. The photograph above was taken by U.S. Captain Fabrick who was among the liberating forces first reaching the camp. Capt Fabrick’s photos and evidence appears in the newly released Remember Us, a book detailing the heroic adventures of Holocaust survivor Martin Small.

Although long and gruesome, here is archival footage offering a small sample of what the Allied forces encountered upon reaching the camps:

Liberating Forces Encounter Horrors of Nazi Camps