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Buchenwald Concentration Camp

N 511.34', E 1114.923'
2014-03-30
http://www.buchenwald.de
Our rating: 5.00
Overall rating:

Buchenwald concentration camp was established in 1937 near Weimar, the cultural capital of Germany. Initially the camp was used to imprison political opponents of the National Socialists, jews, gypsies, homosexuals and anyone who did not fit the size of the real Aryan. Since the beginning of the Second World War people from all over Europe appeared in the camp. More then 250,000 people passed through it during 8 years of the camp's existence. It is one of the largest camps in the territory of Germany.

Entrance to the complex is free. This one and other memorials are financed by the Government and donations from visitors are welcome. Near the parking and bus stop take a guide for 1 euro in the tourist information office.

If you plan to visit also a memorial then it makes sense to get off at the stop by request "Memorial" (push Stop button in the bus). And then go to a concentration camp on foot. We walked from camp to memorial and back using two different ways.

Together with the memorial grounds the whole complex is quite large. Without a visit to the museum, we spent 2 hours and 30 minutes just to walk around all objects.

Bus brings you to a huge semicircle-concreted parking. The road on which you are traveling, called Bloode road. Many inmates had been working over its construction from 1938 to 1939. In some places original concrete road preserved.

Around the square stand SS barracks, now inside located directorate, library, archive,  tourist office and a youth hostel.

SS barracks
SS barracks Yuriy Buriak


SS barracks
SS barracks Yuriy Buriak

Passing the semicircle we turned right into the woods and found a place of mass burial of prisoners of 1944-1945. Terrible place. Beautiful forest around, birds are singing, nobody is here... and you're standing in front of a large pit... It's a shame that all this happened in such beautiful places.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


MEMENTO
MEMENTO Yuriy Buriak

Nearby is a SS falcon yard. It is worth saying that the buildings are not preserved in the forest, only the foundations and partially the walls. Since 1943 in this building was detained French Prime Minister Leon Blum.

SS falcon yard
SS falcon yard Yuriy Buriak

Went ahead through the forest toward the Memorial. On the left side is a ruins of the SS village. Here lived the camp headquaters. You might even find a mini-pond in one of the courtyards.

SS village
SS village Yuriy Buriak


Mini-pond in the SS village
Mini-pond in the SS village Yuriy Buriak

We pass about a kilometer along a scenic road in the woods and come to a huge memorial, built in 1958. Its official name is "National Memorial to the victims of fascism Buchenwald."

Buchenwald Memorial from above
Buchenwald Memorial from above Yuriy Buriak

Place and unusual shape are not randomly selected. In 1945 on this hillside of mount Ettersberg were buried about 3,000 corpses. Three of these round mass graves were found and now they are part of the memorial.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

Between the graves passes "Street of all Nations" with stone pillars on which are written the names of 18 nations.

Street of the Nations
Street of the Nations Yuriy Buriak

Upstairs is a huge bell tower, a symbol of freedom and light, as well as sculptural group of Fritz Kramer.

National Memorial to the victims of fascism Buchenwald (1958)
National Memorial to the victims of fascism Buchenwald (1958) Yuriy Buriak


Sculptural group of Fritz Cremer
Sculptural group of Fritz Cremer Yuriy Buriak

From the memorial we went to camp using the other way, towards the railway station. Prisoners came to this train station through Weimar.

Train Station at Buchenwald
Train Station at Buchenwald Yuriy Buriak

From the train station to the gate prisoners were going on the "devil road". Some original buildings preserved here.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Garages and gas station
Garages and gas station Yuriy Buriak


Devil's road
Devil's road Yuriy Buriak

Near the enterance there was also SS zoo! Hard to beleive that this picture was made 5 meters from one of the worst concentration camps.

Rabbit from SS zoo
Rabbit from SS zoo @

Came to the most famous object in the camp - gate. At the same time it is the main observation tower, torture chamber and a place where sat camp's headquaters.

The Gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp
The Gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

Usuallu on the gates of the concentration camps were written different phrases. On these gates inscription are "To each his own", which symbolized the border between the prisoners and the SS.

To each his own
To each his own Yuriy Buriak

Territory of the camp is huge but empty. Wooden barracks were not preserved, there is only one that stands in the left rear corner.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Wooden barrack in the Buchenwald concentration camp
Wooden barrack in the Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

Earlier this huge area looked so

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

We turned left, there is buildig that served as a dining room for prisoners. Although not dining room, rather kiosk with substandard products for taking money that passed to prisoners by relatives.

Dining room for prisoners
Dining room for prisoners Yuriy Buriak

In the same corner of the camp it is good idea to investigate tower and fence. Here they are best preserved. As seen on the old and new photographs, the fence is simple, with large holes.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

But it was electic fence and around perimeter there were several dozens of watchtowers, so it was almost impossible to run away. There were also a 3 km trail around the fence which is accessible now.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

Since barracks not preserved, there are memorial plates on their places.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak


Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

On the plates are tens and hundreds of nations who died in the camp.

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

Few surviving buildings of the camp are now used as a museum and exhibition.

Building of disinfection
Building of disinfection Yuriy Buriak


Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

The worst thing is the camp is crematorium.

Crematorium
Crematorium Yuriy Buriak

Or may be not, the worst buildings are not preserved. The camp doctors were conducting medical experiments on prisoners in an attempt to develop a vaccine for typhoid fever. In 1942 experiments were stopped, apparently because vaccine has already developed... by Soviet scientist Alexei Pshenichnov.

A few places we did not visit. In particular, nobody expect to hear that in 1945 camp moved to the Red Army and they continued to do the same but against Germans. For 5 years 7100 people were killed. In the GDR this was forgotten by force and remembered only after 1990. This road leads to places of mass graves that have made ​​by the Soviet soldiers .

Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp Yuriy Buriak

After the end of the investigation of Buchenwald, we went along the so-called "time lane". The so-called Grünehausallee, a section of a hunting lane laid out in the eighteenth century, served in 1937 as an orientation line during the construction of the concentration camp. It has recently been expanded into a passable Zeitschneise, or time lane, connecting Ettersburg Castle with Buchenwald.

Time lane - trail connected the Buchenwald and Ettersburg castle
Time lane - trail connected the Buchenwald and Ettersburg castle buchenwald.de

Bus number 6 on which you came to Buchenwald every two hours passes also near the Ettersburg castle. Attention! It does not pass through the stop which is located directly beside the castle and stop at one of the following: "Am Keßling, Ettersburg" or "Wohnheim, Ettersburg". Schedule to / from these stops, as always, check in advance on bahn.de.

Most of the area is open and you can enter at any time before sunset. Opening hours of the museums:
April to October: from 10 to 18
November to March: from 10 to 16

Weimar bus route map
Weimar bus route map weimar.de

Getting there: By bus number 6 from the Weimar train station (stop Buchenwald / Gedenkstätte). Check out the schedule at bahn.de or here (PDF) or here.

Tags, Germany: third reich, unusual buildings

Tags, all countries: third reich, unusual buildings
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