Networld WWI CA Database (Demo)

Camp cemetery of the former Marchtrenk POW camp, Upper Austria, Austria

Up to 35,000 POWs could be housed in the former Marchtrenk POW camp. A total of 1,869 POW soldiers are buried in the camp cemetery – 1,382 Italian soldiers, 457 Russians, one Romanian, 11 Serbs and 18 unknown soldiers.

Austria, Upper Austria

Type of WWI-heritage

  • POW-camp

Dimensions

No information available.

State of repair/preservation

The site is in good condition.

Historical WWI Context

Already in November 1914, representatives of the Austro-Hungarian military and civil authorities came together in the Welser Heide for a local inspection of the site for the subsequent camp of Marchtrenk. Austria-Hungary then began construction of the camp in the Upper Austrian community in 1915 where POWs of various nationalities were intended to be housed. The barrack settlement stretching along a length of around three kilometres and consisting of three sub-camps (Camps I, II and III) was capable of accommodating up to 35,000 persons. It also had its own infrastructure for supply and "administration" of the POWs.
A total of 1,869 POW soldiers are buried in the camp cemetery – 1,382 Italians, 457 Russians, one Romanian, 11 Serbs and 18 unknown soldiers.

State of legal protection

The cemetery is not heritage-protected.

Owner

No information available.

Kind of cultural use of WWI

The Marchtrenk water tower houses a small permanent exhibition about the history of the Marchtrenk POW camp. There is also a path of peace with 20 stations dedicated to two main themes – the Austro-Hungarian POW camp and the immigration of ethnic Germans after World War II. Tours are available for groups.
Further information: www.museumsverein-marchtrenk.at

The former Roman Catholic church in the centre of the borough of Marchtrenk contains a fresco painted by prisoners of war. It is located below the organ gallery and depicts the Austro-Hungarian POW camp.
An "iron table" was also constructed by POWs and can be viewed in the museum in the water tower. A nail could be hammered into the artistically designed object after a donation for the war welfare fund. The initial impulse for this was supplied by a "soldier in iron" presented in Vienna on 6 March 1915. Soon afterwards, wooden figures were set up in many villages and towns in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and nailed following a donation. In addition to soldiers, military signs and crosses, other objects were also used for nailing purposes, for example tables and doors. The number of nailing actions suddenly increased from April 1915 – they also fulfilled an important social function by appealing to the common call for holding out. The time between July 1915 and April/May 1916 was deemed to be the "zenith" of these nailing campaigns.

Opening

Further information:

Museumsverein Marchtrenk: www.museumsverein-marchtrenk.at

Entrance Fee

Further information: Museumsverein Marchtrenk: www.museumsverein-marchtrenk.at

Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby

Further information:

Land Oberösterreich: www.oberoesterreich.at

Accomodation

Further information:

Land Oberösterreich: www.oberoesterreich.at

Public Transport

Further information:

ÖBB: www.oebb.at

Further information sources

Publications:

Erwin Prillinger, Das k.u.k. Kriegsgefangenenlager von 1914 bis 1918 und der Kriegerfriedhof in Marchtrenk, hg. v. Museumsverein Marchtrenk – Welser Heide, Marchtrenk (2013).
Hans-Christian Pust, Vergessenes Phänomen. Kriegsnagelungen in Österreich, Deutschland und darüber hinaus, in: Christian Rapp & Peter Fritz (Red.), Jubel & Elend. Leben mit dem Großen Krieg 1914–1918. Ausstellungskatalog, hg. v. d. Schallaburg Kulturbetriebsges.m.b.H., Schallaburg (2014), S. 298–301.
Julia Walleczek, Hinter Stacheldraht. Die Kriegsgefangenenlager in den Kronländern Oberösterreich und Salzburg im Ersten Weltkrieg, Dissertation Universität Innsbruck (2012).
Julia Walleczek-Fritz, Kriegsgefangenschaft und Kriegsgefangenenlager in Österreich-Ungarn im Ersten Weltkrieg, in: Ort – Erinnerung – Denkmal. Relikte des Ersten Weltkriegs. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Kunst und Denkmalpflege, Heft 3/4 (2015), S. 273–282.

Museums Private Collections

Further information:
Museumsverein Marchtrenk: www.museumsverein-marchtrenk.at

Location

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