A former US prisoner of war (POW), United States Navy Lieutenant Jack Taylor, testifies to the treatment he and other American POWs received in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
In October '44, I was the first Allied officer to drop onto Austria. I was captured December 1st, by the Gestapo, severely beaten, ah, even though I was in uniform, severely beaten, and, and, considered as a non-prisoner of war. I was taken to Vienna prison where I was held for four months. When the Russians neared Vienna, I was taken to this Mauthausen concentration lager [camp], an extermination camp, the worst in Germany, where we have been starving and, and beaten and killed, ah, fortunately, my turn hadn't come. Ah, two American officers at least have been executed here. Here is the insignia of one, a US naval officer, and here is his dog tag. Here is the army officer, executed by gas in this lager [camp]. Ah...there were... [Question: "How many ways did they execute them?"] Five or six ways: by gas, by shooting, by beating, that is beating with clubs, ah, by exposure, that is standing out in the snow, naked, for 48 hours and having cold water put on them, thrown on them in the middle of winter, starvation, dogs, and pushing over a hundred-foot cliff.
We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.