Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Monument erected at Konzentratzionslager Buchenwald by the survivors

The photo above was taken in April 1945 by Tech/5 Dan Curtain, a soldier in General George S. Patton's Third Army, who visited the camp after it was liberated on April 11, 1945. All the photos on this page were contributed by Rob Hughes, the nephew of Dan Curtain, who died in 1992.

The monument shown in the photo appears to be the memorial that was erected by the Communist prisoners at Buchenwald on 19 April 1945 in honor of the political prisoners in the camp. The Jewish survivors were not allowed to attend the ceremonies when the monument was dedicated.

This stone monument was moved in 1961 to a spot called Frederic-Manhes-Platz, which is the place where the road to the camp branches off from the main road up the hill called the Ettersberg. The place where it now stands was named after a French Resistance fighter named Col. Henri Frederic Manhes. Buchenwald was one of the camps to which captured partisans in the French Resistance were deported. The main camp for French Resistance fighters was Natzweiler-Struthof.

The Buchenwald concentration camp was located in a forest on a hill called the Ettersberg, high above the city of Weimar. Dan Curtain is shown in the photo below, standing on the hill where the camp was located.

Tech/5 Dan Curtain at Buchenwald

Bodies piled up at the crematorium at Buchenwald

There was a typhus epidemic in the Buchenwald camp and the bodies of the prisoners, who were dying at the rate of 100 per day, could not be burned fast enough. When the American soldiers arrived, there were bodies stacked outside the crematorium, as shown in the photo above.

The photo below shows two wreaths that were placed on the wall of the crematorium building. Prisoners continued to die after the camp was liberated and their bodies were added to the pile outside the crematorium.

Soldiers view the corpses outside the crematorium

The two photos below show the ovens in the crematorium which still had some of the unburned remains of corpses. Some of the American soldiers thought that the prisoners had been burned alive.

Ovens in the Buchenwald crematorium

Bones and ashes inside an oven in the crematorium



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