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Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A pair of certificates (2012.1.3, 2012.1.4) certifying the death of an inmate. The first, dated march 1940, states that John Metz, a forty-one year-old prisoner, died of "chronic illness and a heart attack." The second document, dated January 20, 1943, notified Alexandra Rutkiewski that her husband perished of a "lung infection" and that his body was cremated. Even more insultingly, it states as well that a death certificate is available for 72 pfennigs. Of course, many of the inmates at Mauthausen were worked to death in the granite quarry while receiving only starvation rations. Prisoners were divided into two groups: one that hacked the granite and the other that carried the 100 pound slabs up the 186 steep steps to the top of the quarry. Regardless of the real cause of death, for SS "doctors," "the official version was always euphemized to conceal the reality of "life" in this category three camp where prisoners were subject to "vernichtung durch arbeit" (extermination through work). For all prisoners life in Mauthausen meant "ruckkehr unerwunscht" (return not desired)."
8 x 6"
Death, Mauthausen, return not desired, extermination through work, John Metz, Alexandra Rutiewski
"Mauthausen Camp Death Certificate" (1940). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2012.1.4.