1945 Liberation of the concentration camp Buchenwald
11 April 2020 - 75th Anniversary
Before 1937, the Ettersberg, or Etter Mountain, was known to many Germans primarily for its literary association with the great German poet Goethe who wrote about his visits to the region. In 1937, however, the Nazis constructed one of the largest and most infamous concentration camps which they named Buchenwald (beech forest). Prisoners who were kept there worked as forced labour in local armaments factories and it is estimated that nearly one quarter of all the prisoners who passed through the camp died there.
In early April 1945, US forces began to approach Buchenwald. The Germans, sensing defeat, began a partial evacuation of the camp and its subcamps. On 11 April 1945, prisoners themselves stormed the watchtowers and took control of Buchenwald. Shortly after soldiers from the 6th Armored Division of the United States Third Army, arrived at the concentration camp complex.
Buchenwald is now a permanent museum of and memorial to the atrocities of the Nazi genocide.