I could do a blog on any of the 44,000 Nazi concentration camps. Yes you are reading that right, there were about 44,000 concentration camps. Some were extermination camps, some were labour camps and there were transit camps. Regardless what their designation was, the ultimate aim was the annihilation of those deemed subhuman by the Nazis, be they Jews, Roma, Jehovah Witness, gay, political prisoners or disabled.

As the title suggests this blog is about Buchenwald ,one of the first camps, which was built in Germany itself. The majority of the other camps were built in eastern Europe.

Rather then writing too much about it, I will post some pictures. Some are graphic. I usually try to avoid graphic pictures but sometimes it is necessary to show the horrors.

Dutch Jews wearing prison uniforms marked with a yellow star and the letter “N”, for Netherlands, stand at attention during a roll call at the Buchenwald concentration camp. On February 28, 1941, 389 Jewish prisoners from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, many of them working class longshoremen, arrived in Buchenwald. All were immediately sent to work in the quarry and on construction projects, which led many to soon fall ill from exhaustion, exposure, and poor diet. Regardless of the deaths, camp leaders still considered the liquidation of the Dutch Jews to be proceeding too slowly and ordered the camp doctor, Eisele, to close the infirmary to Dutch Jews, expelling the bedridden or killing them by lethal injection.

Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, a member of a congressional committee investigating Nazi atrocities, views the evidence at first hand at Buchenwald concentration camp.

On the main gate, the motto Jedem das Seine (English: “To each his own”), was inscribed. The SS interpreted this to mean the “master race” had a right to humiliate and destroy others. It was designed by Buchenwald prisoner and Bauhaus architect Franz Ehrlich, who used a Bauhaus typeface for it, even though Bauhaus was seen as degenerate art by the National Socialists and was prohibited. This defiance however went unnoticed by the SS.

A trailer with corpses

Nazis ran out of coal and were unable to cremate bodies of the dead at camp just before it was liberated and just left the corpses pile up.

These are slave laborers in the Buchenwald concentration camp, many had died from malnutrition when U.S. troops of the 80th Division entered the camp. The very ill man lying at the back on the lower bunk is Max Hamburger, who had TBC and severe malnutrition. He recovered and became a psychiatrist in the Netherlands. Second row, seventh from left is Elie Wiesel. Photograph taken 5 days after liberation.


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