Buchenwald concentration camp

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Buchenwald Concentration Camp (Germany)
Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany
Model of the camp
Gate to the camp in Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald aerial photo 2008

The Buchenwald concentration camp , officially KL Buchenwald , was one of the largest concentration camps on German soil. It was operated between July 1937 and April 1945 on the Ettersberg near Weimar as a prison for forced labor . A total of around 266,000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp during this period. The death toll is estimated at around 56,000, including 15,000 Soviet citizens, 7,000 Poles, 6,000 Hungarians and 3,000 French. When the 3rd US Army approached the camp on April 11, 1945, the prisoners took over the management of the camp from the withdrawing SS , arrested 125 of the guards, opened the gates and hoisted the white flag. Since April 8, many prisoners had prevented their evacuation, so-called by the National Socialists, through boycott and sabotage and called the US Army for help by radio. After the US troops withdrew, parts of the area were used by the Soviet occupying forces as special camp No. 2 . It existed until 1950; 7,000 of the 28,000 interned there died. The Buchenwald National Memorial was opened in 1958 on the site of the former camp. From 1991 the Buchenwald Memorial was redesigned. It contains many exhibitions on the history of the concentration camp.


Last preserved original camp barrack

In July 1937, prisoners from the Sachsenhausen concentration camps (arrival of the first prisoner transport on July 15), Sachsenburg and Lichtenburg began to set up the Buchenwald concentration camp. Those in charge of the concentration camps around Inspector Theodor Eicke had a problem with the naming , as it was in the immediate vicinity of Ettersburg Castle and Park on the Ettersberg . The castle is associated with Goethe and thus the Weimar Classic . Goethe was politically instrumentalized by the National Socialists as an embodiment of the "German spirit". Therefore, the name "Ettersberg Concentration Camp" was not appropriate from the outset, especially since the National Socialist Cultural Society in Weimar had objected to this naming. An assignment to the neighboring Hottelstedt was ruled out because the SS camp crew, although located in the vicinity of Weimar, would have had to be satisfied with a lower salary than the local custom. Eicke's suggestion "KL Hochwald, Post Weimar" was changed to "KL Buchenwald, Post Weimar" at Heinrich Himmler's instigation . Thus on the one hand the name was not officially associated with the place, on the other hand the team got their salary according to the location of Weimar. For camp commandant was Karl Otto Koch appointed. By the end of the year, the camp was occupied with 2561 prisoners. As early as 1937, 48 people died in the camp.

Initially, the camp was intended for political opponents of the Nazi regime, previously convicted criminals and so-called anti - social as well as Jews , Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals . From the beginning of the Second World War , more and more people from other countries were interned. When the prisoners were liberated in April 1945, 95 percent of the prisoners were not Germans. Especially after 1943, concentration camp prisoners were ruthlessly exploited for the armaments industry in the Buchenwald concentration camp and its 136 external commandos . Therefore, Buchenwald was not an extermination camp with industrial extermination and recycling like the large concentration camps in Poland. Nevertheless, many prisoners were murdered by the SS or died from the inhumane working and living conditions. Some groups of prisoners were for immediate murder in the genickschussanlage sorted out , such as Soviet prisoners of war.

At the beginning of 1945 the camp became the terminus for death marches from Auschwitz and Groß-Rosen . Shortly before the liberation, the SS tried to evacuate the camp and sent 28,000 prisoners on death marches . Around 21,000 prisoners, including over 900 children and young people, remained in the camp. On April 11, 1945 units of the 3rd US Army reached the Ettersberg. The SS fled and prisoners from the secret resistance organization opened the camp from the inside.

After the liberation in 1947, 31 people had to answer for the crimes in Buchenwald before a US military tribunal in the main Buchenwald trial , including the widow of the former commandant, Ilse Koch . 22 death sentences and five life sentences and four limited prison sentences were pronounced. Of the death sentences, nine had been carried out by 1951. The former camp commandant Hermann Pister died in custody. Ilse Koch stayed there until her suicide in 1967. All other convicts received amnesty until the mid-1950s.

Construction of the camp

Direct access to the warehouse from the street and from the train station was via Caracho-Weg (2007) (view towards the petrol station and garages as well as the train station)

The Buchenwald concentration camp was divided into three separate areas and, until the end of the war, also maintained more than a hundred permanent work units and sub-camps in central and western Germany.

Former security fence of Buchenwald concentration camp

"Protective Custody Camp"

Entrance gate with the slogan “ To each his own ” - a font in the Bauhaus style ostracized by the Nazis , designed by the prisoner and Bauhaus student Franz Ehrlich

The camp for the so-called protective custody was built in terraces on the northern slope of the Ettersberg to enable better surveillance. From the main gate there was a full view of the whole camp. It was surrounded by a 3 km long and 3 m high barbed wire fence, an electric fence with a voltage of 220/380 volts and 22 three-story watchtowers equipped with machine guns. The prisoners were housed in 34 wooden barracks and 16 two-story stone barracks. The prison camp last extended over an area of ​​40 hectares. The " protective custody camp " included a roll call area of around 15,000 m² and several buildings and camps. The gate building with detention cells ("bunker") was a site of murder and torture in the camp. The commandant had prisoners (as well as members of the SS) arrested here in order to punish them or to extort information and confessions. The concentration camp regulations were applied. The camp gate bears the inscription “ To each his own ”, which can be read from the roll call square. This inscription, which at first glance seems absurd, was deliberately chosen. It was supposed to remind detainees every day in a negative sense that they only got what they deserved. Buchenwald was the only concentration camp that bore this inscription. It was designed by the Bauhaus architect Franz Ehrlich , who himself was imprisoned in Buchenwald until 1943, on the orders of the National Socialists. Ehrlich chose a font from the Bauhaus that was classified as degenerate , but the camp management never noticed this.

The two incinerators in the camp's crematorium

The crematorium, which was completed in 1940, had a dissection room and a pathology for breaking out gold teeth in addition to the combustion room. The Erfurt company Topf & Sons supplied the first incineration ovens in December 1939. By spring 1941, the company delivered and installed additional ovens. Many prisoners were killed on hooks on the wall in the basement. Presumably on the night of August 17th to 18th, 1944 KPD chairman Ernst Thälmann, who had been detained since 1933 and transported to Buchenwald, was shot at the entrance to the furnace room on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler .

The Jewish camp was a separate camp within the protective custody camp. It was built after the mass consignment in the course of the pogroms of the Reichspogromnacht . The living conditions here were particularly bad. Another “small camp” was set up in 1938 to be used if the camp was overcrowded; it consisted of windowless Wehrmacht horse stables . It was mainly used to house inmates unable to work and as a quarantine camp . From 1943 it was permanently occupied. Living conditions were catastrophic, and mortality was high. The former horse stables were designed for 50 horses and now up to 1,960 prisoners were housed there.

In the inmate infirmary, inmates were treated by fellow inmates. However, trained doctors were not allowed to practice. The infirmary was the central location of the murder using lethal injection by SS doctors. But it was also the place of internal camp resistance, which also included the labor statistics. This was part of the camp administration and was provided by the inmates. Here it was possible for the resistance to change the lists for work assignments and transports to the extermination camps .

In the cinema barracks from 1941 to 1943 prisoners could watch expired UFA films for a fee and hold smaller sports or cultural events approved by the SS. The SS also used this building to punish and torture prisoners. From 1943 there was also a camp brothel for prisoners within the protective custody camp as a “means of driving higher performance”. For this purpose, 16 female prisoners from the Ravensbrück concentration camp were brought to Buchenwald in July 1943 and forced into prostitution . In addition, there were magazine barracks, a kitchen, a potato cellar, a laundry, an effects, clothing and equipment room, a gardening shop, a prisoners canteen and a library.

Buchenwald exercise camp

The Buchenwald SS training camp formed the actual SS area and was located south of the “protective custody camp”. Like the Dachau and Sachsenhausen training camps , it consisted of several sub-areas. The camp administration was located near the gate to the protective custody camp. The camp commandant's office with the commandant's office, the adjutant's office, the Gestapo as well as the facilities of the troop staff and the political department were located there.

The SS barracks with 16 buildings followed to the south. These were in a semicircle arranged hundreds of buildings of the SS-Totenkopfstandard "Thuringia" with casinos, armories, a military hospital, shooting and parade areas, large garages and two gas stations. There was capacity for more than one regiment. This was one of the great bases and training centers of the Waffen SS .

The Fichtenhain special camp was installed in the middle of the training camp . Outside the actual fenced camp, a group of isolating barracks for prominent inmates was built in 1942/43. Rudolf Breitscheid , Mafalda von Savoyen and Fritz Thyssen, among others, were imprisoned here . After the assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944 , officers and politicians involved and their families were also imprisoned here. Another place where prominent prisoners were arrested was the SS falconer's house. The former Prime Minister of the French Popular Front government Léon Blum and other members of the government, including Édouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, were housed here .

On the orders of the camp commandant Koch, a riding hall was built in 1940 to the northwest of the barracks. Koch and his wife Ilse had the sole right of use there. A 55 m long horse stable was built opposite the riding arena. Following the arrival of the first Soviet prisoners in 1941, it was rebuilt and equipped with a gun in the neck on commissioner orders from the Wehrmacht High Command . Between 1941 and 1945, numerous prisoners and over 8,000 of the 8,483 murdered Soviet prisoners of war were executed here by the notorious Kommando 99 under the pretext of a medical examination .

To entertain the SS and their families, the SS Zoo was built not far from the fence of the protective custody camp . In 1940 a falcon yard and a game reserve were opened within the SS camp, which were also open to the population.

In 1944 the SS set up a brothel for " foreign " guards. The Ukrainian SS men deployed on guard duty in the Buchenwald concentration camp were forbidden from dealing with German women. The SS selected Polish women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp for this brothel and forced them into prostitution .

A housing estate with single-family houses for members of the SS was built three kilometers east of the KL (today's Ettersbergsiedlung ).

Production area

A quarry was built to the west of the SS barracks. The work there was considered to be the toughest and was mostly carried out by penal companies. Here prisoners were often "shot while fleeing" by the SS.

The armaments factory Gustloff-Werk II of the Weimar Fritz-Sauckel-Werk was opened in 1943 and was the place of work for around 4,500 prisoners. They were rented out to the company by the SS camp administration. In the Allied bombing raid on August 24, 1944, the factory was almost completely destroyed.

The German equipment works (DAW), an armaments company of the SS, founded a production facility for up to 1,400 prisoners within the protective custody camp in 1940 . This was where the Waffen-SS produced for war needs and, before the stable was converted for these purposes, a large number of Soviet prisoners of war were executed.


Until the end of the war, the Buchenwald concentration camp had up to 136 satellite camps and external commandos. These were mainly used for arms production and other fabrications. They are therefore more of a labor camp than an extermination camp . The prisoners had to do forced labor at companies such as IG Farbenindustrie , Krupp AG , HASAG , Siebel Flugzeugwerke , Bochumer Verein , Dortmunder Union , Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG , Ford Cologne, Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke , Deutsche Reichsbahn (Schwerte repair shop) and Annener Gussstahlwerk . People were also executed or died in the subcamps as a result of the prevailing conditions. Some satellite camps were converted into concentration camps during the war , for example the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp near Nordhausen .

Concentration camp history

1938 to 1941

Five disabled Jews in Buchenwald, June action , propaganda recording , 1938

After the camp was built in July 1937, the "bunker" (cell structure of the gate building) was occupied from February 1938. It was the torture and murder site of the camp under SS guard Martin Sommer . In April there was a mass arrest and briefing of so-called “ work shavers ”. The first public hanging of a prisoner took place in June 1938. Also in June 1938 the zoo was set up for members of the SS.

In the summer of 1938, the expansion of the access road to the concentration camp began. The narrow Waldchaussee was expanded into an eight meter wide concrete road. 200 prisoners were directly involved in building the road. Hundreds of other inmates beat and transported the building materials in and out of the camp's quarries. The expansion ended in November 1939. The street was named Blutstraße , which it still leads today.

From September 1938 onwards, numerous prisoners from Austria came to the concentration camp. Austria was annexed to the Reich in March . After the Reichspogromnacht , tens of thousands of male, wealthy Jews (so-called action Jews ) were imprisoned throughout the Reich, 9,845 of whom came to Buchenwald to force them to emigrate and to Aryanize their assets . By the end of the year the camp had 11,028 prisoners. 771 people have already died. In February 1939, typhus broke out in the camp due to the poor hygienic conditions . The camp was then placed under quarantine. In April the Special Registry Office Weimar II started its work in the camp. It almost exclusively had the task of registering the dead. On Hitler's 50th birthday, there were camp discharges through a "mercy action". In September 1939 the food rations for Jews were drastically reduced and a special camp was set up on roll call square.

After the beginning of the war , 8,500 men from Czechoslovakia , Poland and Austria were sent to the camp in October 1939 . In November, the camp had to be quarantined again because the dysentery had broken out. At the end of the year, 11,807 people had been detained and another 1,235 detainees had died. At the beginning of 1940 the crematorium was built because the city crematorium could not cope with the large number of deaths. In February, the special camp on roll call square was disbanded, and almost half of the inmates died. At the end of the year the camp was occupied by 7,440 prisoners. 1,772 deaths were registered that year.

After the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were admitted and targeted by shooting in the neck in the following years . An estimated 8,000 inmates fell victim to this. At the end of 1941 the camp had 9,814 prisoners. 1,522 people died in the concentration camp in 1941. The camp commandant Koch was transferred to Lublin on charges of corruption . His successor was Hermann Pister in January 1942 .

1942 to 1945

The first medical experiments were carried out on prisoners under the new camp commandant Pister. Most of them died in agony as a result, for example they were infected with typhus to test vaccines ( salt water experiments ). The same thing happened with TBC -Erregern. In addition, incendiary wounds were inflicted on inmates. Since inmates lived together in a confined space, diseases spread quickly and epidemics developed, but were not treated. Most of the tests were carried out in blocks 46 and 8.

In February 1942, the first external command of the Buchenwald concentration camp was established in the Gustloff works in Weimar . In July, the construction of a rifle factory for the Wilhelm Gustloff Works next to the warehouse began. In addition, a disinfection building and the small camp that was used as a quarantine camp were built in 1942 . At the end of 1942 Buchenwald was occupied with 9,517 prisoners. 2,898 deaths were recorded that year.

In March 1943 the Gustloff Plant II was completed. In addition, the construction of a railway line to Weimar began. The 14.5-kilometer “ Buchenwaldbahn ” was provisionally completed by the prisoners in just under three months without any heavy equipment. The route was only used to supply the armaments factories. From around the beginning of 1944, prisoners were also transported in and out of the building via these rails. Before it was completed, the prisoners had to march in and out of the camp via the so-called “Blood Road”.

In August 1943, the “Dora” sub- camp for rocket production was established near Nordhausen . 2,900 prisoners died there in the first six months. At the end of the year Buchenwald was completely overcrowded with 37,319 prisoners due to mass admissions from the areas occupied by the Wehrmacht . 3,516 deaths were registered that year.

In March 1944, the number of subcamps increased to 22. At that time, 81 percent of the prisoners in the main camp were malnourished, and one in ten suffered from tuberculosis . On August 24, 1944, Allied bombers attacked the armaments factories at the main camp and largely destroyed them. Inmates were also injured and killed. At the end of 1944 the camp and its satellite camps were occupied by 87,000 prisoners. This number was mainly achieved through the "evacuation" of the concentration camps in the east, which are now near the front. Thousands of prisoners came to Buchenwald on death marches . That year, 8,644 prisoners officially died. In January 1945, further death marches took place, especially from the extermination camps in Poland . In February Buchenwald was the largest concentration camp still in existence. 112,000 prisoners were interned in the main and sub-camps.

Liberation 1945

Recordings of the Special Film Project 186 shortly after the liberation

Before the liberation on April 11, 1945, the Buchenwald concentration camp became bit by bit uncontrollable. The internal resistance movement, which had organized itself, tried to mislead the SS and create chaos. She hid persecuted inmates and defied orders. She called on the inmates to unite. During the bombing of the concentration camp in August 1944, the illegal camp committee had already managed to get weapons from one of the SS camps. These were hidden, buried or walled in in the blocks.

When the 3rd US Army approached the camp at the beginning of April 1945 , the SS guards tried, on Himmler's instructions , to evacuate the camp. About 47,500 people were imprisoned in the concentration camp on April 6, 1945, 22,900 of them in the main camp and 18,000 in the stables of the small camp. 6,600 Jews had already been rounded up on April 5th on the premises of the German equipment works. On the evening of April 5, 1945, a list of 46 anti-fascists listed there was handed in to the camp's office, which came from the Gestapo in Weimar and was based on a denunciation by a Czech prisoner named Duda. The Buchenwald prisoners named on the list and destined for execution were supposed to arrive at the camp gate on the morning of April 6, 1945. With the exception of one French prisoner, those named did not follow this request and went into hiding in the camp. All of the prisoners on this list experienced the liberation. From April 7 to 10, 1945, 28,000 people from the main camp and at least 10,000 prisoners from the satellite camps left the Buchenwald concentration camp on around 60 routes in the direction of the Dachau , Flossenbürg and Theresienstadt concentration camps . Between 12,000 and 15,000 people died on these death marches and “evacuation trains” .

The resistance group tried to delay the evacuation so that as many prisoners as possible could be liberated by the Americans. The weapons stolen by the SS were at their disposal, but their use was only considered when the Americans approached, as they could not have done anything against the superior strength of the guards. On April 8, 1945, the illegal camp administration sent a call for help to the approaching American troops via a secretly installed transmitter. The Americans advised calm until the liberation. On April 11, 1945, fighting broke out in the immediate vicinity of the camp.

At around 11 a.m., weapons began to be handed out to selected resistance members who prepared for an armed conflict. At 12 noon the remaining guards began to leave the camp area and take up positions in the SS area or in the surrounding forest. At around 2:30 p.m., a group of 6th Panzer Division of the 3rd US Army reached the SS area of ​​the concentration camp. The prisoners then began the fight at the gate building and the neighboring watchtowers, where they succeeded in disarming some of the SS guards who had not fled and opened the camp gate. At 4 p.m. the camp and with it around 21,000 prisoners were liberated. An American camp commandant was appointed on April 13th. The war diary of the headquarters of the 4th Armored Division, also known as the G-2 Journal, confirms the following dated April 13, 1945: “Before our arrival, the watchtowers had been captured and 125 SS men who were still in the custody of the camp had been captured . "

The prisoners' self-liberation, which could only take place before the US Army had safely arrived, was subsequently highlighted, for example in the novel Naked Among Wolves , the author of which Bruno Apitz himself had been imprisoned in Buchenwald for eight years. In addition to the everyday inhuman stay in the concentration camp, Apitz depicts as a central figure the rescue of the three-year-old child Stefan Jerzy Zweig (the well-known, real Buchenwald child - besides him, other children were saved) by the prisoners. The book ends with a focus on self-liberation, without falsifying history. It was also pointed out in the book that the number of weapons secretly in the camp, some of which were self-made, with around 70 captured weapons, was too low and that the physical condition of the prisoners was far too compromised for effective resistance to the full SS- Security guards would have been possible without the arrival of American troops. The resistance command acted on the responsibility of the remaining 21,000 prisoners in order not to be shot down by the SS at the last minute or drawn into war conflicts as a human shield . Bruno Apitz became world famous with this novel, which has been translated into 30 languages. In 1963 it was filmed by DEFA with leading actors such as Armin Mueller-Stahl , Erwin Geschonneck and Fred Delmare .

The idea of ​​a decisive independent liberation of the camp by the prisoners was pushed by the GDR government , as it fit well into the socialist - anti-fascist founding myth during the Cold War and support from the American class enemy was not considered opportune. For this reason, the honored resisters among the non-communist prisoners were initially often not mentioned, with exceptions such as Pastor Paul Schneider or the SPD politician Rudolf Breitscheid . That only changed in the 1980s, when persecuted Christians, such as Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer , persecuted minorities or other members of other parties were publicly mentioned.

After the liberation , on April 16, the American troops confronted around 1,000 residents of the city of Weimar with the mountains of corpses in the concentration camp. The majority of these citizens claimed to have known nothing, or at least nothing more, of what was going on in the camp.

1945 to 1950

After the concentration camp was liberated, the Soviet military administration took over the camp and used it as an internment camp from 1945 to 1950 under the name “ Special Camp No. 2 ” .


Buchenwald oath

In the concentration camps, the SS delegated the internal organization to so-called prison functionaries . After the camp was established, these tasks were initially assigned to “criminal prisoners” (see Kapo ). As early as 1939, the “political prisoners” gradually succeeded in ousting the “criminals” previously preferred by the SS from these positions. Until the liberation, political prisoners took on important posts among the prisoner functionaries. They were able to achieve a lot for individual inmates within the narrow limits of everyday camp life.

In the central labor statistics, the SS planned the labor deployment of the prisoners. There, prisoners then prepared lists on their behalf indicating which prisoners should go to which subcamp. For example, reliable resistance members could be smuggled into the most notorious sub-camp Dora-Mittelbau there. In the end, prisoners managed to set up a resistance organization there that targeted sabotage against the V2 rockets . About 19 percent of the completed missiles had defects in this regard.

In the inmate infirmary, inmates could be briefly hidden from the SS. The Buchenwald International Camp Committee was a conspiratorial organ of prisoners of the Buchenwald concentration camp. An International Military Organization (IMO) was also formed under their leadership . In the Buchenwald concentration camp, anti-fascists built a cross-party united front . In 1944 it was possible to create an illegal German Popular Front Committee . When it was liberated in 1945, the illegal KPD in the concentration camp had 629 members in 22 district associations. In addition, there were 111 candidates and 59 prisoners whose membership was not recognized due to non-compliance with party obligations.

After the liberation of the concentration camp on April 11, 1945 , resolutions and declarations were drawn up by various groups of prisoners:

At the memorial rally of the International Camp Committee, 21,000 survivors took the Buchenwald oath for the dead of Buchenwald on April 19, 1945 . In addition, plans for post-war Germany were made during the Nazi regime, including the drafting of immediate school policy measures .

Post-war processes

Ilse Koch (widow of the former camp commandant) in front of the US military tribunal in Dachau

After the liberation of the camp, the camp's commandant staff were arrested. Among them were the commandant Pister, the camp doctor Hans Eisele and Ilse Koch. Also functionary prisoners like the Kapo Hans Wolf were arrested. The US Army then heard about 450 witnesses about the events in the camp and those responsible. When the troops withdrew on July 1, 1945, about 3 tons of documents were taken with them. After viewing the camp documents, the Soviet Union received an offer that it should carry out further investigations and lead the Buchenwald trial. The Soviet Union did not take advantage of this offer because it feared that a lawsuit would be brought against it, as it continued to operate the camp as Special Camp No. 2 after the takeover.

The crimes committed in Buchenwald have now been prosecuted by a US military tribunal in the Buchenwald main trial and its ancillary trials. The doctors involved in the medical experiments were indicted in the Nuremberg Doctors' Trial (1946/1947). The accused included the head of the tropical medicine department at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Gerhard Rose , for the typhus tests on Sinti and Roma in Buchenwald and SS-Hauptsturmführer Waldemar Hoven , site doctor of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The camp doctor Hans Eisele , who was convicted in the Dachau trials , also gained notoriety .

The experiments in Buchenwald are documented in the station diary of SS-Hauptsturmführer Erwin Ding-Schuler , in statements by European doctors who were imprisoned in the concentration camp, as well as in reports from former prisoners such as the Austrian sociologist and philosopher Eugen Kogon , who wrote in 1946 under the title Der SS state reported on life in Buchenwald.

The public prosecutor's office in Erfurt announced on January 31, 2018 that investigations had started against five former Buchenwald security guards for aiding and abetting murder, who were between 92 and 96 years old at the time. They lived in Thuringia, Berlin, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and the Rhineland.

On January 26, 2019, the public prosecutor announced that of the original ten suspects in 2017, seven were still alive, but they had not yet been heard; Another case in Thuringia against a former security guard at the Auschwitz extermination camp was reported by the Gera public prosecutor to the Bavarian judiciary. However, the man has since also died, according to the MDR, citing the public prosecutor in Munich.

On November 8, 2019, it became known that the Erfurt public prosecutor's office was still investigating six former security guards at the Buchenwald concentration camp. The charge is complicity in murder. According to the public prosecutor's office, one of the men lives in Erfurt, four in other federal states and one in the USA. In total, the central office for the investigation of Nazi crimes in Ludwigsburg recently handed over eleven cases to the Erfurt public prosecutor's office. Four of the accused had died in the meantime, and in one case the preliminary investigation was suspended due to inability to stand trial.

Even in the outstanding cases, it is very questionable whether it will come to trial. The investigations are difficult, so in one of the cases missing files had to be laboriously obtained and evaluated, said a spokesman for the prosecutor. The interrogations of the accused are "challenging and lengthy", none of them is under 95 years old. In four cases, the Erfurt public prosecutor's office is assuming that the proceedings will be discontinued in the near future because the evidence is insufficient for an indictment.

Memorials, memorials and exhibitions


Buchenwald Memorial, 1983
Buchenwald memorial with bell tower and funerary funnels, aerial view

In order to be able to erect a memorial, an existing historical monument - a Bismarck tower - was destroyed in an illegal operation well in advance of concrete planning : On April 22, 1949, the Small Secretariat  - the later secretariat of the Central Committee of the SED  - decided under the leadership by Walter Ulbricht the demolition of the Bismarck tower on the Ettersberg , which was perceived as disturbing by the political officials for the planned memorial for the Buchenwald concentration camp. On May 11, 1949, the tower was blown up.

In July 1949 the information department of the Soviet military administration recommended the Association of Victims of the Nazi Regime (VVN) to set up a national museum in the Buchenwald camp.

The VVN designed a "large-scale resistance museum". The former barracks should be used by different nations for their own exhibitions. However, the draft failed because of the plans of the SED Politburo .

The plan provided for a Thälmann memorial. In addition, a resolution by the Central Committee of the SED on October 9, 1950 states that the entire camp with all its barracks should be demolished. Only the crematorium - the place where Ernst Thälmann died -, the gate building and the west and east towers were to be preserved. It was later decided to reforest the area.

The planned demolition of the camp followed a certain concept of interpretation of the history of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Robert Siewert justified the demolition in 1952: “The essence of the Buchenwald concentration camp is not embodied in the barracks or the massive blocks [...] The essence was the deep comradeship, the mutual help, connected and hardened by the fight against the fascist terror that organized Resistance and deep belief in the victory of our just cause! "

The final design of the remaining part of the prison camp grounds followed the motto “through dying and fighting to victory”. The afforestation decision was abandoned. More than half of the area was left to nature. Quarry stone fields were created at the locations of some of the former blocks to mark the outlines. The division of the area "should on the one hand create the impression of inhuman wasteland and inhospitableness, as on the other hand the 'conscious smashing of the fascist horror' under the leadership of Ernst Thalmann's followers should be expressed".

In the 1950s, many information boards were put up on the site. On these, the history of the Buchenwald concentration camp was reduced to the representation of communist resistance and international solidarity under the leadership of the KPD members.

GDR donation stamp for the construction of the concentration camp memorial
Inauguration of the Buchenwald National Memorial, postage stamp block of the GDR in 1958. On the picture the chairman of the Communist Party of Germany Ernst Thälmann , the SPD politician Rudolf Breitscheid and Pastor Paul Schneider
30 years of Buchenwald memorial, postage stamp of the GDR, 1988

After several years of planning, in which Ludwig Deiters among others contributed, and the construction, the Buchenwald National Memorial was inaugurated on September 14, 1958 . This was intended to commemorate the self-liberation of prisoners and the GDR as a liberated part of Germany. “The identification with the GDR and the Eastern Bloc should correspond to the rejection of West Germany and the Western alliance as potential successors to the SS state. Commemoration meant less confrontation with the National Socialist past than a commitment to the SED state. "

In the mid-1980s, it was found that the memorial was reaching fewer and fewer young people. As a result, a youth meeting place, a history workshop and a youth hostel were set up in one of the SS barracks. In preparation for a new version of the exhibition, new topics such as the fate of Jewish prisoners, homosexuals or Sinti and Roma were addressed. However, this reassessment only took place in technical discussions and was hardly implemented. The existence of the Soviet special camp No. 2 was also not addressed. The prisoners who died in the special camp and their graves in the immediate vicinity of the memorial were kept secret.

Way of the Cross of the CFK Thuringia April 1987

On the other hand, Christian and church groups began to use the memorial site for social and peace education work. The Thuringia working group of the Christian Peace Conference (CFK) invited since 1982, partly together with the Evangelical Martinigemeinde Erfurt, to a so-called “ Stations of the Cross for Peace”, in which the participants remembered individual groups of victims of the camp and the memory of them in the In the context of the current search for peace and international understanding. The memorial stone to the “ Action Jews ” from 1938 was one of the stops along with other memorial sites for prisoners from different nations. The fate of Pastors Paul Schneider and Otto Neururer was remembered in the “bunker” and the inmates murdered there, including the KPD chairman Ernst Thälmann, at the crematorium . These crossroads sometimes took place several times a year for a decade and a half. The Evangelical Lutheran parish of Weimar and later the regional church also invited to memorial services for the Christian martyr Paul Schneider.

After the German reunification , in September 1991 a commission of historians appointed by the Thuringian Ministry of Science presented guidelines for a new conception of the memorial. The focus of the memory should be on the memory of the concentration camp, in addition, the Soviet special camp No. 2 should now also be remembered. Both memorial sites should be spatially separated. The permanent exhibition should be conceived and designed according to the latest research. In addition, the commission recommended that the history of the Buchenwald National Memorial and Memorial in the GDR be illustrated in a documentation and that the name be changed to Buchenwald Memorial . The Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation has been a member of the working group of independent cultural institutes since 2000 . On June 5, 2009, Buchenwald was visited by US President Barack Obama together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Shoa survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel .


Borrowing card "prisoner
library KL Buchenwald", Karl Fischer , prisoner no. 76999, block 42D

As part of the design of the Buchenwald Memorial, the permanent exhibition “Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937–1945” was opened in 1995 in the largest building of the “Protective Custody Camp”, the effects chamber. The effects room was used to store all movable things and thus fulfilled the function of a magazine. This fact flowed into the design of the exhibition. Finds, pictures, documents and biographies of victims and perpetrators are displayed in steel cupboards and shelves.

A new building was erected across from the cemetery of the special camp. The exhibition “Soviet Special Camp No. 2 1945–1950” opened there in 1997 and shows photos, souvenir reports and finds on the subject. Right from the start, the exhibition concept had to deal with the problem that “there were numerous Nazi activists among the inmates of Special Camp No. 2”.

In 1998 the art exhibition "Survival - Testimony - Artwork - Image Memory" was opened in the former disinfection building. Here artistic works are exhibited that were made by former prisoners until 1945 or by survivors.

The historical development of the memorial and the formation of memories after 1945 is the subject of the exhibition “History of the Buchenwald Memorial”, which opened in 1999, within a building near the memorial.

In addition to these permanent exhibitions, various traveling exhibitions are regularly shown.

In addition to the criticism of the exhibition on Special Camp No. 2, there are also critical considerations of prisoner brothels in the concentration camp. It is criticized that to date no official information on camp plans or in exhibitions for the existence of such brothels has been given.

Memorial and bell tower

Stelenweg and ring grave, 1958

The memorial was built between 1954 and 1958. The concept is based on the motto “By dying and fighting to victory”. The visitor should be shown away from death into life. The form of the entire monumental complex can be assigned to socialist realism . A staircase leads down the slope from the entrance gate. The staircase is flanked by seven steles , which symbolize the seven years of existence of the concentration camp. The steles were designed and created by the sculptors René Graetz , Waldemar Grzimek and Hans Kies . On the back of the steles are texts by Johannes R. Becher . At the end of the stairs there are funnels. Shortly before the concentration camp was liberated in 1945, the SS buried around 3,000 dead in these depressions. Three of the funeral funnels in the form of ring graves became part of the memorial.

The ring tombs are connected by The Road of Nations . The Road of Nations is flanked by brick pylons with the names of 18 nations whose relatives were imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp. At the top, forged fire bowls form the end of the pylons. The symbolism takes up the obelisk erected on April 19, 1945 by survivors on the former roll call square with a wooden fire bowl and a scratched, warning engraving .

A wide paved staircase leads to the bell tower Tower of Freedom . Inside the tower there is a bronze plate under which the earth and ashes from other concentration camps lie. The beech forest bell in the tower was made by Franz Schilling , it was artistically designed by Waldemar Grzimek . The crowning of the tower is a work of blacksmithing and was designed by Fritz Kühn . In front of the bell tower is a group of figures designed by Fritz Cremer in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht in honor of the resistance struggle in the camp. It was cast in bronze at the Lauchhammer art foundry from 1957 to 1958 and restored from 2002 to 2005. The concept of the group of figures is based directly on “ The Citizens of Calais ” by Auguste Rodin (1884/85). It is the first German memorial for the victims of fascism.

Monuments and places of remembrance

"Warmes Mahnmal" - memorial plaque on the roll call square, which is heated all year round. Monument to a monument by Horst Hoheisel and Andreas Knitz

In addition to the exhibitions and the memorial with bell tower, there are other monuments, memorial stones and memorials in the former concentration camp.

At the first memorial service on April 19, 1945, a few days after the liberation on April 11, 1945, some survivors erected a wooden obelisk with a symbolic wooden brazier on it on the roll call square. They carved the characters “KLB”, the number 51,000 and a wreath into this memorial. The obelisk was intended to commemorate the events that happened to the prisoners. The obelisk no longer exists today. In 1995 the DENKMAL AN EINKMAL was created by the artists Horst Hoheisel and Andreas Knitz. It is a metal plate on which the names of over 50 nations are engraved in the central part in alphabetical order. The entire plate is heated to 37 ° C all year round and radiates warmth in this place of human cold.

View of the crematorium and portal, 2012
Cell in the bunker

The “Jewish Memorial” was consecrated on November 9, 1993 where Jewish Block 22 stood. It is built from stones from the Buchenwald quarry and bears Psalm 78.6 EU in German, English and Hebrew translation as an inscription.

"So that I can recognize the future gender, the children who will be born, so that they can stand up and tell their children."

As part of the cultural program of Weimar as European Capital of Culture in 1999, a hunting star, laid out in 1734 and overgrown over time, was uncovered in cooperation with the Buchenwald Memorial , which connected the Ettersburg Palace and Park at the foot of the Ettersberg with the later concentration camp area on the northern slope. This connection path, known as the “time lane”, which has been accessible since 1999, between the castle as a place of the humanistic mentality of the Weimar Classic and the concentration camp area should, according to the program concept ( Walther Grunwald ), show “the uncanny proximity between modern barbarism and classical culture”.

Part of the old railway line has been visible again since 2007 thanks to the Buchenwaldbahn Memorial Trail . This begins shortly after “Blutstraße” and ends at the loading ramp of the concentration camp, next to the former Gustloff works. It has a length of 3.3 kilometers.

The resistance fighters Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Friedrich von Rabenau and Ludwig Gehre were imprisoned in an SS arrest cell near the quarry from the beginning of 1945 and then murdered in Flossenbürg. In 1999, therefore, the memorial for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich von Rabenau and Ludwig Gehre was built in the exposed cellar.

In the area of ​​the small camp, the “Small Camp” memorial was erected with donations from the USA and Germany . It was created between 2001 and 2002. The design goes back to the New York architect Stephen Jacobs , who was moved as a child with his father and brother at the beginning of 1945 from Auschwitz to Buchenwald to the small camp.

The memorial stone commemorates the Jewish special camp that was located on roll call square in 1938 and 1939. After the pogroms in November 1938 , 10,000 Jews were brought to Buchenwald by the SS and housed in wooden barracks in the western part of the roll call area, where they were mistreated.

From November 1944 to March 1945, numerous convicted conscientious objectors and deserters of the Wehrmacht were transferred to the concentration camp. At the former Block 45, the memorial stone commemorates the conscientious objectors and deserters of the Wehrmacht of these people.

In 2002, the memorial stone in memory of the imprisoned Jehovah's Witnesses who were victims in the Buchenwald concentration camp was also erected on the former Block 45 . Also on the former block 45, the memorial stone for the “Rosa-Winkel-prisoners” reminds of the 650 imprisoned “ Rosa-Winkel-prisoners ”, one in three of whom was killed.

The memorial stone in memory of women and girls on the former Block 5 is intended to commemorate the more than 26,000 women and girls who had to work for the German armaments industry in the satellite camps. The memorial stone was inaugurated in 2003 and contains a text by the Polish writer Danuta Brzosko-Mędryk . The Rudolf Breitscheid Memorial commemorates the SPD politician Rudolf Breitscheid . Breitscheid was interned in the Fichtenhain special camp and died in an Allied air raid in August 1944.

Memorial plaque for Ernst Thälmann at the crematorium

The plaque commemorating the murder of Ernst Thalmann is located on the former crematorium of the camp, attached to the outer wall that faces the building's courtyard. At this point Thälmann was shot by SS men. The plaque was installed in the camp area in 1953 as the first memorial plaque during the GDR era.

Buchenwald song

For the entertainment of the SS, it was customary in the concentration camps for prisoners to sing folk songs or marching songs. In Buchenwald, the SS liked the song “Steht a little village in the middle of the forest” based on the poem “He was like that” by Arno Holz and was part of the daily roll call.

At the end of 1938, the “protective custody camp” leader Arthur Rödl asked inmates to write a song for the Buchenwald camp. The Austrian prisoners Fritz Löhner-Beda and Hermann Leopoldi wrote and composed the Buchenwald song in a very short time . It consisted of three stanzas. Satisfied with the result, Rödl had the song practiced vigorously. It became the standard on roll calls and other occasions. It was also played as a marching song when the work columns moved in and out. Because the mass singing did not always work immediately, Rödl regularly had fits of anger and drilled mass or individual punishments. The inmates therefore organized it so that the blocks standing near Rödl sang with double strength and the more distant inmates only moved their lips.

Today the Buchenwald song is an integral part of commemorations for the liberation.



An estimated 250,000 prisoners were imprisoned in Buchenwald, including many publicly known persons such as politicians, writers and clergy. Furthermore, Allied soldiers were interned in the concentration camp after their capture. These included 26 Canadian Air Force soldiers and 142 British, American, Australian and New Zealand Air Force pilots who had been shot down on the front lines. They made contact with the French resistance and disguised themselves as civilians, but were betrayed from the ranks of the resistance fighters and transported to Buchenwald. By treating them as spies there, the Geneva Conventions could be circumvented.

Camp commanders

The first camp commandant was SS-Standartenführer Karl Otto Koch from July 1937 to November 1941 . He was first transferred to Lublin for embezzlement on a large scale and black market trading, where he directed the establishment of the Majdanek concentration camp . But then he was dropped by Heinrich Himmler and charged with the murder of three prisoners and corruption as an example for all other corrupt concentration camp commanders . He was sentenced to death and executed on April 5, 1945 in Buchenwald concentration camp. His wife Ilse Koch , later also referred to as the "Witch of Buchenwald", was feared as a sadist by the prisoners. After the war she was indicted in the Buchenwald main trial and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Koch's successor was SS Oberführer Hermann Pister . He ran the camp from December 1941 to April 1945 and converted it into a functioning concentration camp business enterprise. Under his command, the Wilhelm Gustloff Foundation set up an arms factory near the concentration camp. After the war ended, he was arrested and sentenced to death by a US military court in the Buchenwald main trial. He died at the end of September 1948 in the Landsberg am Lech correctional facility of cardiac muscle paralysis.


An estimated 56,000 people died in the Buchenwald concentration camp, including around 15,000 Soviet citizens, 7,000 Poles, 6,000 Hungarians, 3,000 French and a further 5,000 people from 26 nations. Among the fatalities were around 11,800 Jews as well as a high number of politically persecuted (mainly communists and social democrats), religiously persecuted such as Jehovah's Witnesses as well as homosexuals and Roma. So far, a total of 36,000 of the victims could be assigned by name.

Official figures are available for registered male prisoners

year registered deaths of Buchenwald concentration camp (men)
briefed died released / "transferred" Storage strength average Storage strength year-end
1937 2,912 48 303 2,200 2,561
1938 20,122 771 10,884 7,420 11,028
1939 9,553 1,235 7,539 8,390 11,807
1940 2,525 1,772 5,120 8,290 7,440
1941 5,890 1,522 3,897 7,730 7,911
1942 14,111 2,898 9,607 8,784 9,517
1943 42,177 3,516 10,859 20,414 37,319
1944 97,867 8,644 63,494 58,334 63,048
31.3.45 43,823 13,056 13,379 82,322 80,436
total 238.980 33,462

Around 27,000 women were imprisoned in 28 women's subcamps, 335 of whom were killed. Around 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war not registered in Buchenwald were shot there and 1,100 people were hanged in the crematorium. In addition, there are a large number of deaths in the evacuation marches.


In the associated quarry , in which numerous prisoners died, limestone was extracted, which soon turned out to be unsuitable for building purposes. According to a sketch, the origin of which is still unclear today (as of October 2019), eight galleries are said to have been laid there. The US Army found two of them following information from prisoners , opened them and brought the valuables found there to the US headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. After Thuringia was handed over to the Red Army due to the stipulations on the division of Germany , the responsible US officer informed his contact on the Soviet side by letter about the findings about the quarry. Whether and to what extent the Soviet side used this information for their own explorations is still unclear (as of October 2019). At the beginning of October 2019, during extensive soil investigations in the quarry, which was initiated on the basis of MDR research, a tunnel ten meters deep was found, but it was empty. The exploration work is to be continued.


Digital book of the dead

On April 9, 2010, the digital Buchenwald Concentration Camp Dead Book with over 38,000 names was published online. The book of the dead is dedicated to the victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp and their relatives. It is entitled Die Toten 1937–1945 Buchenwald Concentration Camp . It also contains statistics on the officially registered deaths and estimated numbers of further victims with unknown names and on the "camp strength" in these years.


Willy Schmidt, Christoph Leclaire, Andrea Meschede, Ulrich Schneider: Buchenwald - A concentration camp. Edited by the Buchenwald-Dora camp community, Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 2002, ISBN 3-89144-335-8 . (Print: see literature "Lagergemeinschaft")


Feature films

  • Naked among wolves . 1963
  • Survive in Terror. Ernst Federn's story. A film by Wilhelm Rösing and Marita Barthel-Rösing; 1995
  • Thomas Geve. Nothing but life. A film by Wilhelm Rösing with Thomas Geve and Josua Rösing; 1997
  • Naked among wolves . 2015


  • And everyone had a name. Documentary; 1974
  • Buchenwald / Post Weimar concentration camp. Documentary by Margit Eschenbach . A Chronos-Film production on behalf of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation; 1999
  • Letters from the deportation. Documentary by Pierre Dietz; 2012
  • Buchenwald - hero myth and camp reality. Report 2015. By André Meier. Editor: Katja Wildermuth (MDR). Production: Simone Baumann, Saxonia Entertainment. (Role of the Kapos, Images of Liberation.)

See also



sorted alphabetically by author

  • Jean Améry : Beyond Guilt and Atonement . Coping attempts of an overwhelmed. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-608-93416-2 .
  • Robert Antelme : The human race. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-596-14875-8 (from the French).
  • Karl Barthel : The world without mercy. Pictures and sketches from the concentration camp. With woodcuts by Hans Schneider, Greifenverlag , Rudolstadt 1946.
  • Karl Barthel : The morning turns red. Memories. Greifenverlag, Rudolstadt 1958.
  • Bruno Bettelheim : Education for Life - Conversation with Ingo Hermann in the series “Witnesses of the Century”. Lamuv, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-88977-343-5 .
  • Emil Carlebach : dead on vacation. Communist in Germany. Dachau and Buchenwald 1939 to 1945. Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 2000, ISBN 3-89144-199-1 .
  • Emil Carlebach, Willy Schmidt , Ulrich Schneider: Buchenwald - a concentration camp. Reports - pictures - documents. Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 2000, ISBN 3-89144-271-8 . Also as CD-ROM: Camp Community Buchenwald-Dora (Ed.): Buchenwald. A concentration camp. Bonn 2002, ISBN 3-89144-335-8 .
  • Pierre Dietz: Letters from the Deportation - French Resistance and the Way to Auschwitz. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2010, ISBN 978-3-86841-042-6 .
  • Ernst Federn , Roland Kaufhold (ed.): Attempts on the psychology of terror. Material on the life and work of Ernst Federn. Psychosozial-Verlag, Giessen 1998, ISBN 3-932133-47-1 .
  • Peter Hochmuth, Gerhard Hoffmann: Buchenwald, I can't forget you. Life pictures. Texts of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Volume 35, Dietz, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-320-02100-1 .
  • Max Hollweg : It is impossible to remain silent about what I experienced: civil courage in the Third Reich. Mindt, Bielefeld 2000 3 , ISBN 3-00-002694-0 .
  • Bruno Heilig : Men Crucified . Eyre & Spottiswood, London 1941. German: People on the cross. Dachau - beech forest. Provincial Library, Weitra 1989, ISBN 3-85252-454-7 .
  • Gisela Karau : The good star of Janusz K. A youth in Buchenwald. Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 2003, ISBN 3-89144-346-3 .
  • Felicja Karay: We lived between grenades and poetry. The women's camp of the armaments factory HASAG in the Third Reich. Jerusalem 1997 and Cologne 2001. Via the Buchenwald satellite camp in Leipzig-Schönefeld.
  • Benedikt Kautsky: the devil and the damned. Experience and knowledge from seven years in German concentration camps. Verlag der Wiener Volksbuchhandlung, Vienna 1961.
  • Imre Kertész: The Tracer - Narrative. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-518-22357-7 .
  • Eugen Kogon : The SS State - The System of the German Concentration Camps. Verlag Karl Alber , Munich 1946; 44th edition, Heyne Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-453-02978-1 .
  • Wladyslaw Kozdon: … I cannot forget you. Memories of Buchenwald. Published by Rohnstock Biografien, Wallstein, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-8353-0210-5 .
  • Rolf Kralovitz : Ten Zero Ninety in Buchenwald. A Jewish prisoner tells. Walter-Meckauer-Kreis, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-923622-10-4 .
  • Max Liebster: Ray of hope in the Nazi tower. Story of a Holocaust Survivor. Esch-sur-Alzette 2003, ISBN 2-87953-990-0 .
  • Marcel Lorin: Schönebeck un Kommando de Buchenwald. You sabotage the avions nazis à l'épouvante d'une marche de la mort. Amicale des anciens déportés de Schönebeck, 1989.
  • Jacques Lusseyran : The rediscovered light. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-93556-8 .
  • MachWerk (ed.): The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Reading book. Frankfurt am Main 1995.
  • Henri Pieck: Drawings from Buchenwald. Röderberg, Frankfurt am Main 1982 ?, ISBN 3-87682-767-1 .
  • Josef Plojhar : Buchenwald warns. Union, Berlin 1975.
  • Jorge Semprún : What a beautiful Sunday! Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-937793-16-X .
  • Jorge Semprun: Writing or Living. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-518-39227-1 .
  • Jorge Semprun: The dead one with my name. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-518-45549-4 .
  • Jorge Semprun, Elie Wiesel : Silence is impossible. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-518-12012-3 .
  • Ernst Wiechert : The Dead Forest . A report. Diary notes and letters. Union, Berlin 1977 (frequent ed., Most recently Suhrkamp, ​​2008, ISBN 978-3-518-22425-0 ).
  • Elie Wiesel: To bury the night, Elisha. LangenMüller, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7844-3024-4 .
  • Pierre Dietz: Lettres d'un ouvrier déporté. ISBN 978-2-84706-585-5 .
  • Paul Le Goupil: Resistance and Death March. ISBN 978-3-86841-137-9 .

Secondary literature

sorted alphabetically by author

  • Wolfgang Benz , Barbara Distel (ed.): The place of terror . History of the National Socialist Concentration Camps. Volume 3: Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald. CH Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-52963-1 .
  • Gitta Günther , Gerhard Hoffmann : Buchenwald concentration camp 1937 to 1945. Small encyclopedia. Rhinoverlag, Ilmenau 2016, ISBN 978-3-95560-897-2 .
  • David A. Hackett (Ed.): The Buchenwald Report: Report on the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar. Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-47598-1 .
  • Lutz Niethammer (ed.): The "cleaned up" anti-fascism. The SED and the red kapos from Buchenwald. Berlin 1994.
  • Harry Stein: Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937–1945. Accompanying volume for the permanent historical exhibition. Published by the Buchenwald Memorial. Wallstein, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-89244-222-3 .
  • Thuringian Institute for Teacher Training, Curriculum Development and Media (ThILLM) (Ed.): Seeing, understanding and processing. Buchenwald concentration camp 1937–1945. Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp 1943–1945. Materials for preparing visits to the memorials. In: ThILLM Heft 43. ThILLM, Bad Berka 2000, ISSN | 0944-8691.
  • Jens Schley: Neighbor Buchenwald: The city of Weimar and its concentration camp 1937–1945. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-412-15298-6 .
  • Buchenwald Concentration Camp Post Weimar / Thür. Catalog for the exhibition from the GDR in the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin (West) 1990. Published by the Buchenwald National Memorial.

Web links

Commons : Buchenwald Concentration Camp  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Chronicle of the Buchenwald concentration camp. (No longer available online.) Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, archived from the original on September 8, 2012 ; Retrieved February 6, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de
  2. Udo Dietmar: Inmate X ... in hell on earth. Published by the State of Thuringia, State Office for Labor and Social Welfare, Thüringer Volksverlag, 1945; sa ( online ).
  3. Beatrix Hasse: The liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. ( Memento from April 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) kriegsende.ARD.de.
  4. Construction documentation photo from July 15, 1937 from the archives of the Buchenwald Memorial.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.buchenwald.de  
  5. ^ Karl Robert Mandelkow: Restoration or New Beginning? In: Weimar Classic Foundation : Weimar Classic in the Ulbricht era. Böhlau Verlag, 2000, p. 136 ff.
  6. ^ Laurenz Demps , Christiaan Frederik Rüter: GDR justice and Nazi crimes . Collection of East German convictions for Nazi homicide crimes. P. 334.
  7. ^ Emil Carlebach, Willy Schmidt, Ulrich Schneider: Buchenwald - a concentration camp. Röderberg-Verlag, Cologne 1988 2 , ISBN 3-87682-786-8 , p. 17.
  8. Report ( Memento of the original from February 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in the Thuringia Journal of the MDR on January 7, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.mdr.de
  9. ^ From the volume accompanying the exhibition Technicians of the "Final Solution". Topf & Sons - The furnace builders of Auschwitz. ( Memento of the original from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) accessed June 2, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de
  10. ^ Notes from Heinrich Himmler , Reichsführer SS, from a meeting with Adolf Hitler in the Wolfsschanze , August 14, 1944 in exhibition case 4/31 in the former personal property of the Buchenwald concentration camp: “12. Thälmann is to be executed ”.
  11. Photo of the house ( Memento of the original from January 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Photo. ( Memento of the original from January 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de
  12. ^ Christiane Roßberg: Doctor without exam. Military Publishing House of the GDR , TB No. 243, 1982, p. 38.
  13. Details on the structure of the camp. Access: June 2, 2013.
  14. Christa Paul, Robert Sommer: SS brothels and oral history. Problematic sources and the existence of brothels for the SS in concentration camps. In: BIOS 19 (2006), issue 1.
  15. Wolf-Arno Kropat: Kristallnacht in Hessen, Das Judenpogrom from November 1938. Wiesbaden 1988, ISBN 3-921434-11-4 , p. 167 ff.
  16. ^ The Liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, accessed: February 6, 2008 ( Memento from April 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ^ David A. Hackett: The Buchenwald Report: Report on the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-41168-1 , pp. 131 f., 366 and 369.
  18. Details and times according to Walter Vielhauer, member of the illegal international camp committee, in: Susanne Stickel-Pieper (arr.): Trau! Look! Whom? Documents on the history of the labor movement in the Heilbronn / Neckarsulm area 1844–1949. Distel-Verlag, Heilbronn 1994, ISBN 3-929348-09-8 , document 62.
  19. ^ Modern Military Archives, Washington, 4th armored division, 604-2.2-daily reports, June 1944-May 1945.
  20. a b Bruno Apitz : Naked among wolves , paragraph The myth of liberation.
  21. ^ On the orders of the Americans, Weimar citizens had to visit Buchenwald concentration camp on April 16, 1945. Spiegel article with photographs, Feb. 2018
  22. ^ Niklas Reinke: History of the German space policy. Concepts, influencing factors and interdependencies 1923–2002. Oldenbourg 2004, ISBN 3-486-56842-6 , p. 32.
  23. Bernd Ruland: Wernher von Braun. My life for space travel. Burda, Offenburg 1969, p. 235.
  24. ^ Declaration by Buchenwald's internationalist communists ( memento of August 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). The Trotskyists in Buchenwald. inprekorr.de, accessed on February 16, 2019.
  25. ^ A b Manfred Overesch : Buchenwald and the GDR: Or the search for self-legitimation. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1995, ISBN 3-525-01356-6 , pp. 207ff.
  26. otz.de
  27. taz.de
  28. https://www.thueringer-allgemeine.de/web/zgt/leben/detail/-/specific/Noch-sieben-Verfahren-gegen-fruehere-KZ-Aufseher-in-Thueringen-13536634
  29. https://www.thueringer-allgemeine.de/leben/vermischtes/mord-verjaehre-nicht-ermittlungen-gegen-sechs-kz-wachmaenner-id227598961.html
  30. Memorial instead of Bismarck Tower. The former Bismarck Tower in Weimar. Information from the Bismarck Towers website with references.
  31. Jörg Voigt: Blown up on the highest instructions? The fate of the Bismarck tower near Weimar. In: Werner Greiling , Hans-Werner Hahn (Ed.): Bismarck in Thuringia. Politics and culture of remembrance from a small-state perspective. Hain-Verl., Weimar, Jena 2003, ISBN 978-3-89807-046-1 , pp. 219-237.
  32. a b Detlef Hoffmann (ed.): The memory of things: concentration camp relics and concentration camp monuments 1945–1995. Scientific series of the Fritz Bauer Institute, 4, Campus, Frankfurt / Main, New York 1997, ISBN 3-593-35445-4 , p. 119.
  33. a b History of the Memorial, Paragraph 8, accessed: June 2, 2013. ( Memento of the original from September 17, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de
  34. Annette Kaminsky / Federal Center for Political Education (ed.): Places of Remembrance: Memorial signs, memorials and museums on the dictatorship in the Soviet occupation zone and GDR. 2nd Edition. Ch. Links, Berlin 2007, pp. 497–500, here 500. ( limited preview in the Google book search)
  35. Robert Sommer: The special construction. The establishment of brothels in Nazi concentration camps. 2006, ISBN 1-84728-844-8 , pp. 77ff.
  36. Reference list Kunstgießerei Lauchhammer, here: 1957/58; Retrieved on October 29, 2009. ( Memento of the original from October 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kunstguss.de
  37. See www.buchenwald.de .
  38. See. Mdr.de .
  39. Devotion to commemorate the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. Antoniterkirche on April 11, 2005, accessed: April 4, 2008.
  40. See chapter "Zeitschneise" on www.buchenwald.de
  41. Quoted by Bernd Kauffmann in: Weimar 1999 - European City of Culture GmbH (Ed.): Weimar 1999. European City of Culture , Weimar 1999, p. 6.
  42. The Buchenwaldlied (text and notes).
  43. ^ Walter Poller : Doctor's writer in Buchenwald. Phönix-Verlag, Hamburg 1946, p. 129.
  44. For example Buchenwaldlied by the former prisoners for the commemoration event for the 62nd anniversary of self-liberation on April 15, 2007  - Internet Archive
  45. ^ Canadians in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Eng., accessed: April 7, 2008.
  46. ^ Ernst Klee : Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich: Who was what before and after 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , pp. 323 f., 463.
  47. 1945 - After the liberation. Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  48. ^ Message: Volkhard Knigge , Director of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau Dora Memorials Foundation on April 24, 2010.
  49. ^ Harry Stein, Buchenwald Memorial: Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1937–1945, volume accompanying the permanent historical exhibition. Wallstein 1999, 9th edition 2014, ISBN 978-3-89244-222-6 , p. 253.
  50. 7-part documentary postcast "The Secret Depots of Buchenwald" by Peter-Hugo Scholz (1954–2019). Source: https://www.mdr.de/kultur/videos-und-audios/audio-radio/peter-hugo-scholz-110.html - accessed on September 25, 2019.
  51. https://www.lvz.de/Region/Mitteldeutschland/Geheimer-Stollen-im-Steinbruch-von-Buchenwald- discovered , accessed on October 5, 2019.
  52. buchwald.de ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.buchenwald.de
  53. ^ Film website at ARD.
  54. https://www.mdr.de/kultur/videos-und-audios/audio-radio/peter-hugo-scholz-110.html - accessed on September 25, 2019.
  55. https://www.mdr.de/kultur/themen/mdr-kultur-trauert-um-peter-hugo-scholz-100.html - accessed on September 25, 2019.

Coordinates: 51 ° 1 ′ 19.7 ″  N , 11 ° 14 ′ 56.6 ″  E

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 14, 2008 .