>>How everything started

April 2002: Franz Stuhlpfarrer, religious instruction teacher in the HLW Fohnsdorf (district Judenburg/Upper Styria), was doing a project on "school and racism" with the students of the former year IV.B, when he suggested his eighteen year old students to do some research work on the former auxiliary camp of Mauthausen in Brestein. The more the twenty-four students get involved in this idea, the more they get enthusiastic about doing this fact finding. Supported by teachers and historians, the students learn a lot about the historical incidents sixty years ago. After many well prepared school lessons they finally get to know the place where everything happened. It is very touching for them and makes them shiver, although Bretstein´s cold wind is not blowing at that moment.

>>Interviews with witnesses

One wants to find out more: "How was it at that time?" Touching talks with witnesses follow. The students realise that they are at the same age now; as the interview partners were at that time. After a period of intensive work the invitation to the presentation of their work follows and almost all villagers of Bretstein participate. Also a film is produced - an honest account of the feelings and experiences of people living in extraordinary circumstances. Furthermore, everybody wants to find out where exactly everything happened, takes staples and shovels and starts to dig. Under grass they find steps, foundations.... no staying silent any more.

>>Memorial site

The teachers, historians and students want to erect a reminder of the suffering of the maltreated: "Never ever should a human being turn into an inhuman being again." In a quarry granite rocks are gathered together by the students´ hands, the volume of a whole truck. Walls are built up ...a memorial for you, the maltreated ones. The young people will tell their children about this time, for the sake of a better time...

>>Chronological table

April / May 2002 Interviews with witnesses in Bretstein, done by students of HLW Fohnsdorf
May 2002 Public presentation of the interviews
June 2002 Looking for the former camp area, doing excavations with his/her own two hands
October/November 2002 Manual sorting of stones for the erection of a memorial Cinematic documentation of the project
2002/2003 Erection of a memorial on the former camp area
April 2003 Solemn opening ceremony
February 2004 Foundation of the "Association Auxiliary Camp Bretstein"