Johann's Journey

Κυλίστε προς τα κάτω τη δεξιά στήλη για να εξερευνήσετε τον χάρτη. Τα γεωγραφικά όρια του χάρτη είναι τα σημερινά και ενδέχεται να διαφέρουν αρκετά από την εποχή του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου.

Mongo’s journey starts in the town of Guntramsdorf, close to Vienna, where he was born into an Austrian Catholic Lovara Roma family on 20 May 1929.

In 1939, Mongo and his family settled in Vienna.

Family Stojka in Vienna with Viennese friends and family, around 1939; Mother (second from left), her sister Kathi (third from left), Mrs Sprach (5th from left) and the brothers Ossi, Hansi (Mongo), Karli (from left to right). Image copyright: ‘Archive of the Documentation - and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma.


In March 1943, his mother and his five siblings were detained in Rossauerlände detention centre in Vienna.

Later that month, they were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland.

In April 1945, Mongo and his brother, Karl, were forced to set out on a death march


In August or September 1944, Mongo and his brother, Karl, were deported from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany. 

In early April 1945, Mongo and Karl were sent from Buchenwald to Flossenbürg concentration camp, where they were incarcerated for around 10 days. They were then forced to set out on a death march.

Original page from Mongo's poetry book depicting the gates of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Sleeping bunks in Buchenwald. Image credit: The Wiener Holocaust Library.
Mongo and family, date unknown. Image copyright: © Felicitas Kruse (2004)

In May 1947, they received a letter from their mother telling them that the family was in Hohenauergasse, the 19th area of Vienna. On 20 May that year, Mongo and Karl returned to Vienna and were finally reunited with their family. Six months later, they all moved to Gymnasiumstrasse 23, in the 18th area of Vienna. 

Mongo died in Vienna on 16 March 2014.

The brothers fled during a death march and ran for their lives through the forest. They were liberated by the American army near Rötz, Germany, in April 1945 and later taken in by a family there. 

In 1946, they made their way back to Paletzgasse in Vienna in hope of finding their family but their search was unsuccessful.


Μπέργκεν - Μπέλσεν

The Bergen-Belsen camp in the north of Germany was established in 1940 as a prisoner of war camp. In 1943 it was handed to the SS, and it became a ‘detention camp’, primarily for Jewish prisoners, although Roma people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gay men, ‘asocials’ and criminals were also imprisoned. Due to the Allied forces approaching other camps, the population of Bergen-Belsen grew from approximately 7,300 to over 90,000 between July 1944 and April 1945. Already inhumane conditions deteriorated, with diseases spreading rapidly. When British troops liberated Bergen-Belsen on 15 April, they found 53,000 prisoners, the majority of whom were emaciated and suffering from disease. As documented in Richard Dimbleby’s famous broadcast, thousands of dead bodies lay unburied on the ground. Another 13,000 died over the days following the liberation. Ultimately, more than 70,000 people were murdered there.

Πορεία Θανάτου

As Allied troops approached the concentration camps, the Nazis attempted to destroy evidence of their crimes, and this included evacuating the camps, forcing prisoners to walk from wherever they were in Europe towards Germany. Anyone who could not keep up was shot, and, with limited food and inadequate clothing, many thousands died on these enforced death marches.


Οι Ναζί σχεδίαζαν τη μαζική εκτόπιση των Ευρωπαίων Εβραίων σε στρατόπεδα εξόντωσης στην κατεχόμενη από τους Γερμανούς Πολωνία. Οι Εβραίοι αναγκάστηκαν να συγκεντρωθούν σε κεντρικά σημεία, όπως σε μια συναγωγή ή στην πλατεία της πόλης, και στη συνέχεια στριμώχνονταν σε εμπορευματικά ή επιβατικά τρένα, με περιορισμένες ή καθόλου συνθήκες τροφής ή υγιεινής. Τα ταξίδια συχνά διαρκούσαν αρκετές ημέρες ή και ορισμένες φορές μερικές εβδομάδες. Πολλοί από αυτούς που στριμώχνονταν σε αυτά τα τρένα πέθαναν κατά τη διάρκεια του ταξιδιού προς τους καταυλισμούς λόγω της πείνας ή του συνωστισμού.