Remembering the past: Global Business ACT and PAC students in Mauthausen

On the 12th of April 2024, two student cohorts from the Master program Global Business went to Mauthausen visit of one of the darkest chapters in history – Mauthausen concentration camp. As part of the course European Business context, students were able to discover the memorial and museum with an audio guide in their native language. The concentration camp was established by Nazi Germany during World War II. and is located near the town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria about 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz. As the students walked through the camp´s grounds, they saw one of the largest and most brutal concentration camps in the Nazi system. Mauthausen was initially built to house political prisoners, but its purpose expanded to include forced labor and extermination as the war progressed. Thousands of prisoners, including political dissidents, prisoners of war, Jews, homosexuals, and those considered “undesirable” by the Nazis, were subjected to forced labor, starvation, torture, and execution. The camp was liberated by Allied forces in May 1945. Today, it serves as a memorial and museum to honor the victims and educate people about the horrors of the Holocaust. As the students visited the concentration camp independently, they could listen to their audio guide in their own pace and could pause or repeat it whenever necessary. Apart from that, a museum with pictures and informative documentaries of the past have been shown. For some students, this excursion was their first tangible encounter with the brutal realities under Nazi tyranny. In the camp, they could trace the footsteps of the prisoners, but also read through stories of courage and resilience despite all the suffering. As this emotional day came to an end, the students were brought back to their student dormitory by bus and could take some time to process all the information.

The specialty of the global business degree program is that students not only learn theory in the classroom and from books, but also have the opportunity to go on field trips and excursions in the specific country. This particular trip to Mauthausen made learning for the students more vivid and gave them a comprehensive insight into European history.

Credit: Edit Juhász