Mauschwitz was established officially on February 24, 1956 as a “re-education” center. It became associated with the the years that Mickey Mouse the Great ruled over Disneyland (also known as the “Reign of the Rat”) when the populace was terrorized by the Ministry of Homeland Security, directed by Goofy—the first Minister of Homeland Security, who was appointed to his position on the same day that Mauschwitz opened. Mauschwitz was the big stick that Goofy used to force compliance with Article 58 and consequently suppress any and all dissent.
Mauschwitz served a dual purpose: It was not only a place to banish political opponents and critics of the regime, but also a slave labor camp. Much of the economic development under Mickey Mouse the Great can be credited to the labors of camp inmates, who were forced to work under the brutal conditions found in Burbank, where the camp was located. The early economy of Disneyland was dependent on the work of the “animators” [see below]. Indeed, Disneyland might have collapsed without the export of Disney “Animations.”
The only recorded successful escape was during the mistaken bombing of Mauschwits by D.A.F. Air Marshal Launchpad McQuack, during which the parents of Skippy Squirrel escaped during the confusing and managed to smuggle themselves out of the country. Due to Goofy's administrative capabilities and efficient security measures, none of the other prisoners of the facility managed to evade capture after escaping and the camp was soon running. McQuack was later pardoned.
The First Wave
The first wave of arrests under Article 58 occurred before either Article 58 or Mauschwitz itself were even offiicially recognized by the regime. They took place during the coup of January 22, 1956, until that summer when they petered out. The subjects of this wave of arrests were the so called animators, supporters of Oswald Rabbit (including Jiminy Cricket) and members of his government that didn’t immediately pledge loyalty to Mickey. Most were tried by secret tribunal, some were immediately executed. The tens of thousands were sent to Mauschwitz, to live out their remaining days laboring for the “workers’ paradise” promised by the Mouse regime. This purge effectively cleaned out all non-Mickey supporters from the Federal Assembly of Disneyland, which was then renamed the Disneyland Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The Second Wave
The second wave of mass arrests occurred in the month of September, 1956 and coincided with the Five-Day War. Those arrested were not only those openly protesting the war against the Pirates of Castaway Cay, but those who privately questioned the wisdom of this attack. As always, arrests were made for treason under the provisions of Article 58, but this wave saw the first of many show trials, meant to highlight the Mouse regime’s greatness and the ultimate weakness of Mouse’s enemies. The majority of trials, however, were before secret tribunals. It has been estimated that over one hundred thousand were imprisoned, although the records were destroyed when Goofy fled to Argentina after the death of Mickey.
The majority of those arrested were not skilled animators like the followers of Rabbit had been. Instead, they were rank-and-file cast members with few skills, who were soon put to work on various public works projects, such as the Skyway and PeopleMover, as well as the expansion of Mauschwitz itself. Other labor camps were built in locations suitable for the expansion of the Disney Empire; the first of these was the slave labor camp beneath the Matterhorn. The lucky prisoners worked on the inventions of von Braun; the unlucky were the subjects of his cruel experiments.
Subsequent waves of arrests followed the many propaganda campaigns in the ensuing years. They were not of the same magnitude of the first two waves. The “Struggle Against Wreckers of the 2nd Five Year Plan” saw a total of only 8,455 arrests. This is not to say that the periods between these peaks were arrest free. The imprisonment of “enemies of the state” was constant throughout the years Gimmler headed up DisSec. Probably the most famous inmate of the camp, the Nobel Prize-winning author Rafiki, was arrested in one of the later waves and imprisoned from 1966 to 1970.
As the labor camp population grew, so did the physical camp itself. When the surface area was completely covered with cell blocks (euphemistically referred to as “studios”), excavations for an underground complex began. Other camps sprang up as needed in other parts of the Disneyland. Such camps constituted a sort of Mauschwitz archipelago, secret islands of repression scattered about the globe. [See Tigger Cages of the Jungle Cruise.]
Commander of the Camp and War Crimes
Mauschwitz was commanded by the sadistic TS (Toonstaffel) Lieutenant, Courage (nicknamed Courage the Cowardly Dog after fleeing from revolutionary forces.) He was known for ruthlessly executing prisoners. The camp was staffed with 21 TS guards, four of which were later executed for war crimes.
Following Mickey Mouse's death in 1970, Donald Duck signed an order to have all political prisoners released from Mauschwitz. This event occurred on May 30 of that year, during the Fantasyland Spring. The detention facility was officially shut down but part of the camp continued to function as a regular prison until 1976, when it was shut down and converted into a museum following the publication of Rafiki's novel Mausland. Today the remains of Mauschwitz are preserved as a reminder of the darkest period in Disneyland's history.
See also: Duckau