former concentration camp Mauthausen
former concentration camp Mauthausen Reuters

More than 10,000 people from some 50 countries on Sunday marked the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Mauthausen in Austria.

A somber procession was led by Anna Hackl, who lived some100 miles north-west of Vienna and risked her life to shelter two escaped prisoners.

Organizers said they wanted to pay tribute this year "to those who, at the risk of their own lives, stood by the victims of Nazi persecution," the AFP news agency reported.

Some 200,000 people from 40 nations -- around a quarter of them Jewish -- were incarcerated between 1938 and 1945 at Mauthausen, near the Danube river.

Around 90,000 died from starvation and disease or were shot by the guards, hanged, throttled, beaten to death or gassed.

The United States army liberated the camp on the 5-7 May.

Several European leaders and former prisoners last week attended a ceremony to mark the exact date of the liberation and inaugurate a new visitor center.

Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who accompanied her father-in-law, himself a survivor of Mauthausen, told the crowd that the lesson of the camp is that "never again” will the Jewish people allow themselves to be at the mercy of others.