search

Buchenwald camp a reminder of Nazi ‘barbarism,’ German president says

Marking 76th anniversary of concentration camp’s liberation, Frank-Walter Steinmeier says it stands for ‘racial fanaticism, torture, murder and elimination’

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeiner delivers a speech during an event in Weimar, Germany, April 11, 2021 commemorating the liberation of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps. (Ronny Hartmann/Pool Photo via AP)
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeiner delivers a speech during an event in Weimar, Germany, April 11, 2021 commemorating the liberation of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps. (Ronny Hartmann/Pool Photo via AP)

WEIMAR, Germany — Germany’s president on Sunday marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp by reminding his compatriots of the inconceivable atrocities the Nazis committed there during the Third Reich.

“Communists and democrats, homosexuals and so-called asocials were incarcerated at Buchenwald. Jews, Sinti, and Roma were brought here and murdered,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a speech in the nearby German town of Weimar, 76 years to the day after US forces liberated the camp.

“With its diversity of victims’ groups, Buchenwald represents the entire barbarism of the Nazis, its aggressive nationalism to the outside, its dictatorship on the inside, and a racist way of thinking,” Steinmeier said. “Buchenwald stands for racial fanaticism, torture, murder and elimination.”

Holocaust survivors and their families were not allowed to gather for anniversary observances this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Survivors from different parts of the world instead attended Sunday’s memorial ceremony online. Large-scale commemorations for last year’s 75th anniversary were put on hold due to social distancing requirements.

In this photograph taken in April 1945, survivors of the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp sit on a latrine, after the liberation of the camp by Allied troops. (Eric Schwab/AFP)

The Buchenwald concentration camp was established in 1937. More than 56,000 of the 280,000 inmates held at Buchenwald and its satellite camps were killed by the Nazis or died as a result of hunger, illness or medical experiments before the camp’s liberation on April 11, 1945.

“It was a dictatorship, a Nazi leadership that was responsible for the cruelest crimes and the genocide,” Steinmeier said. “But it was human beings, Germans, who did this to other human beings.”

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed