Center Stage: European Tour Center Stage Update Day 4
This morning we drove through the lovely Austrian countryside to the Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp Memorial in Mauthausen.
The first stop on the self guided tour was the “Wailing Wall” where prisoners were lined up when they first arrived at Mauthausen and which is now covered with plaques memorializing fallen countrymen of the many nations that passed through the camp.
Jews were the lowest social class in Mauthausen concentration camp and as such received the worst treatment at the camp. Shown here is a memorial for the thousands of Jews that were killed during the camp's lifetime.
The imposing wire fence surrounding camp used to be charged with 380 V of electricity. Many prisoners were murdered slowly and agonizingly by being forced to walk into the fence.
Some of the barracks contained beds that slept at least 2 men per bed.
Outside the main facility, several monuments were erected honoring the soldiers that liberated the camp in 1945 and the murdered prisoners and survivors of the camp.
Just before we got back on the buses, we sang Tony Chapman and Ted Arthur's “I Stand Here Now” in honor of the people who died here at Mauthausen.
After visiting the concentration camp, we returned to Schicklberg Hotel to have some lunch before departing for our evening concert in Gmunden.
Here YeChan Lim (PVGC), Jen Bunge (Purdue Bells), and Dick Kasperson share a table and enjoy their meal together.
It took a couple of hours to get to Gmunden and as we got closer, we were able to see glimpses of Mt. Traunstein in the distance.
While the students got set up for their performance, the guests had some free time to explore Gmunden, relax by the lake, and, of course, pose for a picture!
After set up, we had some free time to do the same. Here a bunch of the Glee Club and Purduettes hang out by (and in) the freezing cold water.
Some of us hang out on the ledge, enjoying the sunshine and each other's company. Front to back are Katie Bajzatt (Bells), Jeff Franklin (Bells), Amy Barton, Megan Miller, Gabrielle Shultz (all Purduettes), and Daniel Pinkis (PVGC).
Cayla Mustin blows a kiss as she and some friends pass by on a rented motorboat during free time.
The Bells take advantage of some free time before they perform to take some formal pictures. Here the 2013-2014 leadership of the Bells pose for a picture (left to right: Moriah Yearwood, Erin Myers, Jacob Werst, and Alyssa Choi).
The Glee Club opened the show today. Here the Flashbacks perform for the last time this year.
The Purduettes sang their hearts out for this show and the audience loved them!
A special moment in the show was when the local Gospel Choir sang “Edelweiss” with the Purduettes.
The Bells played one of their best shows this concert! Here Andrew Scher and Jeff Franklin smile while playing their bells.
This is what some of us had to say about today:
I enjoyed going to the concentration camp. World war II is always an interesting topic I enjoy learning about. The city of Gmunden was beautiful. Each day [we spend here] makes me enjoy the trip even more.
~ Michelle Schultz, Purdue Bells
The concentration camp tour this morning made for an emotional start to our day. Along this journey, that will be something we will never forget. We had an opportunity to explore the town before our performance this evening. I gazed off the docks over the water at the mountains and even traveled to visit a castle! The show [tonight] was an extended performance, but [it] was the last time my specialty group “Flashbacks” would perform for the year, so the show will always be close to my heart.
~ Ryan Straut, PVGC