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Definition: Buchenwald from The Macquarie Dictionary

a former Nazi concentration camp in central Germany, near Weimar, infamous for atrocities perpetrated there.


Summary Article: Buchenwald from An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich

One of the major Nazi concentration camps, located in a forest on the Etter Mountain four miles from Weimar in Thuringia. Together with Dachau and Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald was set up in 1933 to form the nucleus of the Nazi concentration camp system. Buchenwald was one of the largest concentration camps in Germany, counting some 20,000 inmates, and at times even 60,000. The prisoners were forced labor, working in an adjacent factory manufacturing weapons, ammunition and other supplies for the German army. Using two 12-hours shifts of slave laborers, the factory operated 24 hour a day. Technically Buchenwald was not an extermination camp, but conditions were so horrific that the work camp was in fact a place of extermination, with pointless humiliations, beatings, tortures, starvation, incredibly crowded living conditions, sickness, and arbitrary executions. The camp was also a site of large-scale trials for vaccines against epidemic typhus in 1942 and 1943 using inmates as test subjects. Deaths recorded in the camp averaged 6,000 per month. Buchenwald was liberated by the U.S. Army on April 10, 1945. From 1945 to 1950, the camp was used by the Soviet occupation authorities as an internment camp for Nazis, known as NKVD special camp number 2. Buchenwald KZ was demolished in 1950, and a commemorating monument was erected in 1958.

© 2014 Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage

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