Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Buchenwald Travel Blog

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WARNING: The following includes a discussion of a concentration camp, there are no gory details, but there is a listing of heinous crimes committed.

This morning we left the hotel in Dresden in the early morning and headed off the A4 to the remains of a Soviet concentration camp called Buchenwald. (Good news: we didn’t get lost this time!) Once we got to Buchenwald we got out and got an audio guide. Most of the camp had been destroyed, so any of the buildings which were standing were reconstructions. It was a quiet morning walking around the ashes and rubble of the buildings, and listening to the stories of torture. This camp was a Soviet camp which housed Gypsies, POWs, Jews, Homosexuals and anyone else they felt was an anti-Facist.

There were no gas chambers here as there were at Auschwitz, instead they strangled people in the basement of the crematorium or shot them in the nape of the neck. There was a room they said was a medical room, and as people would stand up to be measured, there was a man behind the wall who would shoot them in the neck from behind in a slit in the wall. They would give the prisoners little to no food, and so many of them were emaciated, and died of hunger, or died from eating too much food at once after being emaciated. There was one small building as an infirmary, but only very special people got treatment and actually lived. They wouldn’t even let real doctors perform here, but POWs with minimal medical training. They also did many different medical experiments here, especially for Typhoid.
They used the vaccines they created for the soldiers. If by some miracle the experimentees survived, they were later killed to be used as examples to be compared against. The crematorium was perhaps the worst part, because they had a basement where they put the dead bodies, piled them on an elevator and moved them up to the ovens. This system worked so efficiently that this was also built in Auschwitz for use of the bodies killed in the gas chambers. If there was any highlight to the day, it was seeing the memorial erected far off from the camp, where the prisoners who were set free walked. Here was a view of the beautiful German countryside with a statue of free men.

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photo by: petrarchanprincess