From Rachel Korazim, Jerusalem, Israel
Subject: The Gunskirchen site
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 21:16:29 +0300
From: Rachel Korazim
Dear Mr Mooney and Family
This note comes to you from Jerusalem in Israel. It is very hard for me to put my thoughts in a logical order now, but I’ll try..
My name is Rachel and I am 50 years old. For many Years now I have been studying and teaching about the holocaust, in Israel as well as in the states. I knew a lot about what my own parents had survived in Europe at the time but very little about what had happened to my maternal grand mother who had died when was only 8 years old.
Today my mother and I were talking about that, and I asked her if she knew where grandma had been liberated. Mom said she only knew the name of the camp but nothing more since grandma who could not talk about it, she also added that we probably would not be able to find out much since it was not one of the well known camps.
It was, she said a place called Gunskirchen that was near a town called Wels, Mom remembered that the handwritten note that had been delivered to her in Budapest in the late summer of 1945 was from the american hospital in Wels.
I had not much hope as I was typing the word Gunskirchen Lager in Infoseek about two hours ago, how could I have known that someone out there would take the trouble to put this document on. It was all there, the little we knew and so much that we did not know. How can I thank you.
Maybe by letting you know that at least one of those starved prisoners rescued by your step grandfather’s brother had survived, got back to her native city Budapest, in Hungary (she was one of those who had been marched over 150 miles from Hungary to Gunskirchen)
Later, in 1946 she had emmigrated to Israel where I was born, She had lived long enough to see two grand children of whom I am the oldest. Later came three more. In our family home as I was growing up there was a beautiful tree planted in her memory.
Today all her three children, five grand children and 13 great grandchildren (no 14 is expected in four months) are around. most of us in Israel and one small branch in N.Y.
Thanks so much for what you have given us. It is painful yet so important.
My love and gratitude to all of you from Rachel and family
Dear Mooney Family
Thank you for your kind words. Please feel free to put my letter on a “comments page”. If you do that, please add the following:
My grandmother’s name was Olga Feldmar, she was about 45 years old when she was marched on one of those notorious “death marches”.
She must have been a woman of a very strong will to have survived and I, in fact, have always felt very privileged to have known her. She had never been really well after her ordeal and had died a very young grandmother in 1954.
I think it is of some value to introduce at least some of the victims by name so they emerge out of the anonymity that was imposed on them by their tremendous number.
Thanks again for your kindness, Shalom (hebrew for peace) to all of you
My name is Cary Zigman and my father, Hyman E. Zigman was a Master Sgt. with the 71st Division during the war. As a medic attached to the 71st Division, he was one of the first inside the camp.
I also have a copy of the pamphlet you have about the camp. My father and I have had many discussions about his experiences liberating many of the camps.
Thank you for bringing this piece to the net. Many of these “personal” accounts have been lost throughout the years. Your page will keep these experiences in the forefront.
I just wanted to compliment you on the work you’ve done with this site. It’s important to get this information out and this simple pamphlet is a powerful reminder of the Holocaust and its horrors.
Gary M. on LI
Managed Care – Caveat Emptor
Was thrilled today to finally find something regarding the 71st Inf.
Division. My son created a web page contains a segment of my
experiences with the 7lst.”I Never Had It So Good”
Dear Mr. Mooney,[There is] a link in the Mirror of the Austrian Mauthausen-Gusen site, which I have established on my server space ..
Thank you for the information you provided. Please keep it up on the Net. It is very important. I am in touch with an English teacher in Alabama who tries to correct the English grammar on the Mauthausen-Gusen pages with her classes for the Austrians. (I am the in-between).
The teenagers are very interested in the stories of liberators, because at least some of them have been influenced by the militias and Holocaust deniers. I will show your site also to Jewish young people who prepare to visit Auschwitz.
I am a German, retired and live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am deeply involved in the Jewish-Christian relationship and dialogue.
Kind regards and best wishes.
Gunskirchen Lager Liberation Comments from Austria
Dear Mr. Mooney,
Please be also informed that we – the young Austrian – look up to you and your friends as liberators. Since we work for more than 15 years on the Gusen camps, we can imagine what horrible scenes you must have seen those days in our country.
Maybe you know that most of the inmates at Gunskirchen had been Jewish prisoners of the KZ Gusen II camp. Nearly all of them came to Gusen to build the huge underground BERGKRISTALL tunnels where the first jet-propelled plane was produced by the nazis (see our URL about KZ Gusen II).
After several months of heavy work, when they were exhausted, they were marched from Gusen and Mauthausen to die in Gunskirchen. In fact, Gunskirchen was just a little forest with fence where the poor Jewish inmates of Mauthausen, Gusen and other camps were brought to die without any drinks and foot.
You see, there is a very close tie between both locations. Therefore, please ask your friends whether they have any knowledge about the Gusen camps too.
Maybe you will also link our URL into your pages to demonstrate your readers where a good deal of the inmates of Gunskirchen came too.
Hoping to reading of you again soon, we remain
with best greetings from Austria
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 20:29:12 +0100
>Thank you so very much for the historical notes on Gunskirchen.
Please note that we are very glad that you appreciate this information. This is because of the fact that here in Austria nearly nobody believes that tragic stories. Therefore, we highly appreciate you publication on the web.
You can´t imagine how important your materials are for the sincere people here in Austria, because otherwise they would not have any idea about. Imagine, there was a commemoration a few years ago at Gunskirchen and just a few people took part.
The situation is the same at Gusen. Although there died some 40.000 people here, nearly nobody here at Austria knows about the facts and therefore we decided to enter our information to the web too.
So it is highly important that we link our pages to each other. Please be also informed that we will give the printouts of your page also to people that have no access to the net already. By they way; have you any contact with people at Gunskirchen yet?
> Actually, though, this material I have on my website belonged to
>my grandfather and not me personally. I have learned that there is
>an annual reunion of the members of the 71st infantry division attended
>by 300-400 survivors and is also attended by some of the actual
>Jewish Gunskirchen survivors. It seems to me it would be most
>fitting if perhaps someone from your country could attend – the next
>meeting is in St. Louis in September 1998. I will keep you informed
>of the details, if you would like more info on this.
Yes, please keep us informed. Although it is difficult for us to attend personally, we always try to get into contact with liberators and survivors. Therefore, please give us notice somewhat in advance. Maybe we can address an official inquiry to that reunion?
>May I also post your comments on my comments page?
Yes, no problem; post all our comments and make links to our sites too. By the way, maybe you want to link to This chapter is dedicated to the Jewish victims of KZ Gusen 2 and shows original documents that give evidence of the odyssey of many people that came to Gunskirchen via Auschwitz, Gusen, Mauthausen, etc.
Please don´t hesitate to contact us again whenever we can be of assistance to you here in Austria and whenever you get new information about the Gunskirchen-Gusen ties.
Warmest greetings from Austria
P.S. Maybe you know that the SS planned to blast thousands of inmates in the final days of WWII in the tunnels of Gusen 2 and Ebensee. Gunskirchen was also one of the links between both underground complexes to fulfill the final act of “final-solution”.
Maybe this helps you to understand why your grandfather experienced that catastrophe at Gunskirchen those days.