I haven’t an upgraded WordPress-Account and not much room for all the pictures I made. So I created a video with the pictures. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Last days I visited the official memorial of one of the last Concentration Camps in germany. Hitler built them to kill humans as many as possible.
I did not expect a cool nor funny trip but to show you the difference between the bright and dark sites of germany, the history and for myself, too. I was needing something to ground me & to show myself how lucky I am.
The memorial “Buchenwald” in Thüringen, Germany:
Buchenwald is built on the Ettersberg and a bit out of the way but close and “threatening” enough to the city of Weimar. How it is in the city I don’t know but it’s my plan to visit Weimar some day, too. Then I will let you be a part of the trip, of course 🙂
For more information you can visit the official website of Buchenwald:
It’s much to tell you and I have many thoughts about all. BUT I really think pictures can show you more. So let’s start.
The direct way to the Concentration Camp’s parking place is over the “Blood Street”. Yes, you read it right. On that street the victims had to walk from working areas and from the town to the camp. It’s a long way and if you try to imagine a powerless and sick body, close to death…with wooden shoes *klipp klapp*…
Before you go in the memorial area (where all happened) you can visit a teenager meeting point for kids from all over the world which will visit the memorial or want to work there. And you’ve a cafè and an information centre, too. I ate something small and drunk a coffee. The prices are ok. Apropos prices: no entrance fee and the memorial is completely free. “Hello german taxes” but it’s just fair!
I was alone there, expected I may need some explainations and so I borrowed (3€) a digital guide (MP3 Player, Headset, Card). It was a really good idea because with the “guide” I didn’t feel too alone in emotional moments 😀 And I had some 😦
The man in the tourist information was really friendly, calmed and I think he knew I may come out with less color in my face 😀
He recommended me to watch the movie about Buchenwald before I start the tour. The memorial has a cinema! Wow.
Inside the iron gate is written “Jedem das Seine” (“May all get their due”).
It’s like in Auschwitz and other concentration camps the “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”).
Behind that door was a HUGE terrain where all the buildings stood. But most of them collapsed or were destroyed. Stone slabs lay on the ground, a canteen house was still standing, a large red house and watchtowers. And the crematorium. I will tell you more about all…step by step.
One of the stone slabs is the “KLB memorial”. It’s a sign for the “Buchenwald Resistance Club” – yes, a club. Here you’ll learn more about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchenwald_Resistance and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KLB_Club .
The slab is special because the stone has every time body temperature.
On the “main”- terrain you can visit many smaller memorials. They are built on each (destroyed) barrack and stays for each group of people which were killed by the Nazis.
You also can see how the houses and barracks were built and how they looked like.
On 2 stone slabs above you can see small triangles. Every inmate got those ones (to put it on the clothes) and they should show the “reason” for the detention.
You can see here (for example):
brown triangles: Sinti / Roma
purple triangles: Jehovah’s Witnesses
pink triangles: gay men
red triangles: political prisoners
Double triangles: two yellow angles, which were set on each other = “Judenstern” (Jewry star)
In the main camp was also the “Little camp”:
Hundreds of soviet soldiers were imprisoned in the “Soviet Special Camp” (a smaller camp inside the main camp) and the corpses of the deaths were thrown into the forest – complete anonymously.
The bosses of the memorial decided to give all the soviets a last honor and a bit peace: a grave. Every steel rod means 1 dead soviet. And there are many rods in that forrest 😦
The “Depot” (before mentioned red house) is the largest building and was used as a depot to store inmates’ clothes and personal stuff. There they got the uniforms, numbers and triangles, etc. Now it’s a museum and you can see inside it some very emotional and informative things:
Thousands of corpses were carried away in this wooden cart. I could smell the death…
Unbelievable for the outside but yes, there was a resistance movement in europe. Not many but a movement.
Next to the museum is the “Disinfection station”. You can still smell the disinfection inside it. Brrrrrr.
I knew that house from my first visit 20 years ago and I never forgot the smell. Same that time and I had to fight not to puke…
Even when I write this Blog…
Outside of the camp area is the Memorial complex.
It is built in the DDR and include 3 mass graves in its structure design. The visitors has to go “along a path from death to life”: they begin on the crematorium, through the camp, to the graves and finally to the bell tower.
The german communist members of the resistance are the central element (survivors with help of resistance):
The bell tower as a symbol of freedom and light.
With this Blog article I want to give you something to think about.
Please do not let that ever happen again! Be a good person, help other people, love and don’t be an asshole.
And there will ALWAYS be a resistance!!!
Thank you for your time and
if you ever go to the Memorial of “Concentration Camp Buchenwald” (Thüringen, Germany)
let me know how it was.
(And do yourself a favour and don’t go alone. You possible may need someone to talk with.)
It’s not always possible to pay all alone and so I am asking you now to support me in that case, too. So I can move forward, don’t have to stopp my trips through this beautiful world – included reviews.
Then it may be possible to ask me to visit a seightseeing spot you want and to write about, too.