The 71st Infantry at Gunskirchen Lager, Austria – 1945

Gunskirchen, Austria – May 4, 1945

When my maternal grand-mother passed away, I came into possession of a small pamphlet owned by her second husband’s (my step-grandfather) brother. His name was Ken Hoffman and he was a member of the 71st infantry during World War II.

This pamphlet was produced by the US Army after they liberated a concentration camp in Austria called Gunskirchen Lager. The 71st arrived just days before VE day.

The book recounts in detail, and with very graphic photos, the tragedy they found in the camp.

I decided to make placing this material on the web a small personal project of mine and this site is the end result. I have reproduced here all the narrative text and all the black and white photos that appeared in the book. You should be warned that this material very accurately reflects the grisly details of the Army’s initial arrival at the camp. I was also motivated to produce this site since the pamphlet, while stored for decades in my family’s belongings, is still showing signs of age and becoming somewhat tattered.

The book is divided into 4 sections, with personal accounts by separate members of the liberating division. There is a text only version which lists all the text without the photos.

 Text Only
 Graphic version (requires frame-supported browser)

Note that I tried to keep the images down to between 16-35k each, but with a few dozen photos in total, some of the frame sections could be slow loading.

Pamphlet Cover