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Infamous "Stairs of Death" in Mauthausen quarryPrisoners were forced to climb the 186 steps of the Wiener Graben with large blocks of granite on their backs. Often the blocks would fall, crushing limbs and bodies of those following, sometimes killing. The SS guards invented competitions betting on which prisoner would make it to the top first. Those surviving the ordeal would then be forced to jump from the edge of the quarry to their death below.

Infamous "Stairs of Death" in Mauthausen quarryPrisoners were forced to climb the 186 steps of the Wiener Graben with large blocks of granite on their backs. Often the blocks would fall, crushing limbs and bodies of those following, sometimes killing. The SS guards invented competitions betting on which prisoner would make it to the top first. Those surviving the ordeal would then be forced to jump from the edge of the quarry to their death below.

German ww2

German ww2

A German orphan among the debris of his home.  There were about 500,000 orphans at the end of the war.

A German orphan among the debris of his home. There were about 500,000 orphans at the end of the war.

Soldiers goose-step past the Führer in honor of Hitler's 50th birthday, April 20, 1939. Less than five months later, on September 1, the Third Reich's forces invaded Poland; on September 3, England and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.

Soldiers goose-step past the Führer in honor of Hitler's 50th birthday, April 20, 1939. Less than five months later, on September 1, the Third Reich's forces invaded Poland; on September 3, England and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.

members of the polish resistence army during Warsaw Uprising

members of the polish resistence army during Warsaw Uprising

A young Polish boy returns to what was his home and squats among the ruins during a pause in the German air raids on Warsaw, Poland, in September of 1939. German attacks lasted until Warsaw surrendered on September 28. One week later, the last of the Polish forces capitulated near Lublin, giving full control of Poland to Germany and the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Julien Bryan)

A young Polish boy returns to what was his home and squats among the ruins during a pause in the German air raids on Warsaw, Poland, in September of 1939. German attacks lasted until Warsaw surrendered on September 28. One week later, the last of the Polish forces capitulated near Lublin, giving full control of Poland to Germany and the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Julien Bryan)

Warsaw uprising. Polish volunteers. 1944.

Warsaw uprising. Polish volunteers. 1944.

Wiesław Chrzanowski (20 December 1923 – 29 April 2012) - a Polish politician and lawyer, a member of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance organiz...

Wiesław Chrzanowski (20 December 1923 – 29 April 2012) - a Polish politician and lawyer, a member of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance organiz...

Stug

Stug