On Albertinaplatz just behind the Vienna Opera House once stood Phillip Hof, a luxury apartment building and one of the largest rental buildings for its time.  In March 1945 hundreds of residents sought shelter in the basement of Phillip Hof during an air raid; the building was bombed so heavily that the people in the basement could not be recovered.

Today the site highlights the violence and tragedy faced by Austrians in WWII with a series of monuments.

The Gate of Violence represents victims of the war; there are clubs and gas masks, Gypsies and other persecuted groups, and a group of chained laborers sitting atop stone cut from the Mauthausen concentration camp, primarily a labor camp. Mauthausen was one of the first camp complexes to be established by the Nazis, and one of the last to be liberated by the Allies. The former concentration camp lies about 2 hours west of Vienna and close to Linz.

Behind the Gate of Violence is a bronze depiction of a hunched-over Jew being forced to wash anti-Nazi graffiti off the sidewalks with a toothbrush.

A third statue is of Orpheus entering the underworld, a reminder to Austrians (and perhaps to everyone)  of the importance of keeping one’s government on the right track.

The final sculpture, cut of stone, is a memorial to those lost in the bombings and a declaration of Austria’s Second Republic in 1945.