Location: Minnesota, United States
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Monday, December 19, 2005


In May of 1945, my paternal grandfather was serving in one of the U.S. Army armored divisions that liberated Mauthausen, a large concentration camp in Austria. Most of the images that follow were in his trunk in the basement of his and my grandmother's house in Osseo, MN, when I found them in 1984. There was also a large canvas Nazi flag. This year I finally donated the flag and the photos to the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies.

Signpost pointing to Passau, outside of Mauthausen in Austria.
Flags flying over entrance area.
American Army Jeep and infantrymen outside Mauthausen.
Approaching the camp. SS were still in the camp and had ordered the burning of whatever bodies they could. Hence the smoke rising from the stacks in this photo and the next three.
Another view of the crematoria.
Gate to Crematoria area.
Prisoner Barracks

Survivor of Mauthausen near barracks.
Prisoner Barracks

Distant view of crematorium stack, 1945.
Closer view of the same crematorium stack, 1996.
Above the courtyard, 1945.
Same courtyard, different angle, 1996.
Guard Tower. If you click the thumbnail for the larger image, you'll see a survivor of the camp sitting behind the barbed wire. It took me 20 years to notice that.
Wire surrounding camp.
Allies digging mass graves, this photo and next.
Laying the victims' bodies in the trench grave, this and next two images.
Rock quarry (Wiener Graben) where prisoners were forced to labor. This appears to be the area where the Allies dug the trench graves.

For more information and photos on Mauthausen: Gusen and Mauthausen

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Girl Poker Night

Eight of us played Texas Hold 'Em last night at my place. Not long into the game, a recurring theme in our conversation appeared:

Things You Won't Hear At A Men's Poker Game

1. "You know what's really nice? No one's smoking any stinky cigars."

2. On whether it took balls to stay in on a particular hand: "Not balls, mammaries - no, mams!"

3. "That is the definition of Prima Dona #1..."

4. On the third occurence of people splitting the pot 2 or 3 ways because of identical hole cards: "This is just CREEPING ME OUT!"

5. "Everyone should get to be chip leader at least once." (No, that didn't happen.)

6. "Christina Ricci was the younger sister in Mermaids?!"

7. "My first album was Sonny and Cher."

8. "Did I even pay my money?"

9. After dealing Q 3 3, Christy dealt a Q on the Turn, and started scraping something off the last Queen. While everyone was pondering the two pair on the board, she said "Is that CHOCOLATE?"

I think I've got the order right here - someone please correct me if I am wrong. In the order we went out:

Maurine (who had been the short stack when I went out)

And Scooter: I didn't play recklessly, I swear! I got lousy cards, kept folding over and over, bet big on pocket tens only to lose on the River, folded a bunch more, took a chance on a pocket Ace-Something suited, and got trounced. C'est la vie, it was fun!