One of the largest Nazi concentration camps in Germany, Buchenwald was liberated on 11 April 1945. During the Second world war, the Nazis killed there more than 76 thousand people. About who liberated Buchenwald, what the Americans drove the inhabitants of Weimar to look at the liberated concentration camp, who today continues to follow the vow of Buchenwald, why in the quarry on the territory of the memorial was looking for the Amber room from Tsarskoe Selo and what do you think former prisoners about the growth of right-wing sentiment in Germany and worldwide, in an interview with RIA Novosti said the Deputy Director of the Foundation “memorial Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora”, Dr. Philipp Neumann-Tyne.
— Because of measures against the spread of the coronavirus at present we are also unable to carry out any activities. That’s why we invited diplomatic missions of the countries from which people were deported to Buchenwald, as well as democratic party in Germany to order wreaths. Fortunately, many took advantage of this opportunity, including representation of the Russian Federation. April 11, these wreaths will lie on the former Appellplatz — the Central square of the former camp, the monument to all victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp. We document this pattern, organize online access to people all over the world, especially former prisoners who were unable to attend the anniversary of the liberation, unable to take part in it. Thus, we recall in the present circumstances, about the liberation of Buchenwald, about the victims. We hope that the broad resonance.
— I guess at some point we will overcome the current acute crisis caused by the coronavirus, we are experiencing all over the world.
A very basic and important questions related to the history of Buchenwald, will remain relevant in the future. These are questions about how could occur the crimes of the Nazis, as people became supporters of the regime, criminals, and that can help us to defend democracy, the rule of law and human rights here and now. Former prisoners of Buchenwald has learned from what they have experienced and suffered. They were released on April 11, 1945, and on April 19, they organized a commemoration of the dead, bringing the oath of Buchenwald: “the Destruction of Nazism and its roots is our slogan. The construction of a new world of freedom, peace without war is our goal.” Many former prisoners all his life was devoted to the implementation of this oath in various countries of the East and West. Today it is our task to ensure peace and freedom around the world.
Unfortunately, there are many phenomena which must arouse concern. In Germany are also gaining influence of parties and movements that spread right-wing extremist, anti-democratic ideas, reducing the value of national socialism by the expression “bird dropping” (One of the leaders of the right-wing party “Alternative for Germany” Alexander Gauland in 2018 said that Hitler and national socialism in the millennial history of Germany is just a “bird dropping” (it. Vogelschiss). — Approx. ed.), and even call for “changes in the political memory of 180 degrees” (From the speech of the head of the Thuringian branch of the “Alternative for Germany” Bjorn Hawk in 2017. — Approx. ed). The time has come when we must realize more clearly than ever that democracy, separation of powers, the rule of law is not taken for granted things that we are talking about the protection of these values again and again. Here the study of the history of Buchenwald can help us to understand how important and how fragile and exposed to these values.
Today we know that early in the evening of 11 April 1945, two divisions of the U.S. army reached the Buchenwald concentration camp, one in the area of deployment of the SS (the Nazi Paramilitary formation, in whose jurisdiction were the concentration camps and death camps. — Approx. ed.) and one to the North, in the area of economic issues. Has had only brief contact with the prisoners. Then the Americans immediately went in the direction of Weimar. But as a result of this advancement of the US army, the SS guard in a concentration camp and fled. This allowed the armed resistance organizations to take control of the camp. It was the release of outside — U. S. army-inside — the armed groups of prisoners. On the page www.buchenwald.de/473/ has a chronology, it is possible to recover some detail this release. SS units was very well organized, armed to the teeth, and the prisoners were in a relatively disadvantageous position. The flight of The SS troops was decisive for the success of the organization of the resistance. And 13 April, the Americans formally took over management of the liberated concentration camp of Buchenwald and immediately organized action to aid the survivors prisoners.
— By order of the General (U.S. army) George S. Patton, who toured Buchenwald a day earlier, thousands of Weimar citizens should be to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 16. People came here by foot, about 10 kilometers from the city centre. Today, you can see pictures of this road here, it’s more like a summer tour. It was a beautiful Sunny day, wonderful green landscape. The Americans wanted phamarcy came into direct confrontation with the crimes committed in Buchenwald, also in the sense of re-education (eng. re -) wanted to show them what happened in their immediate vicinity. For example, there is a picture of where the trailer truck is in the yard of the crematorium and he loaded the emaciated corpses of the inmates. It was shown to lamarca. The overwhelming response was: we did not know about and is not responsible for this.
— In fact, like other concentration camps, Buchenwald concentration camp was very closely connected with their surroundings. Civilians, for example craftsmen and other service providers also had contact with the camp were there on business, and learned a lot about what they were doing with prisoners. Many trains in the Buchenwald concentration camp arrived at the station of Weimar, and we know from the reports of survivors that passers-by spat and threw stones at prisoners. Camp were teams that were to remove the bomb after the air strikes in Weimar and other cities. It was obvious what a mess these people are. Of course, attempts were made to keep those inmates with food, but there was brutal violence, which was attended by the civilian population. The worst atrocities had occurred during the so-called death marches, during which the SS drove the prisoners from the concentration camps in the frontal area, such as Auschwitz, and in early April 1945 from Buchenwald. Prisoners who could not walk were shot by the SS guards, they froze to death, died of starvation. Sometimes this happened in the settlements or in their vicinity.October 21, 2019, 10:2175 years of Victory”Medal of the death camps”: the picture of the horrors of Buchenwald on the copper disk
Thus, the residents were aware of the crimes of Buchenwald. “Amnesia” in 1945, I believe, was due to the fact that people were definitely afraid to be held accountable for the crimes of national socialism. Many wanted just to draw a line and start again, without thinking more about what happened. They wanted to forget and suppress this story.
— Lessons from the horrific crimes of national socialism were surely made after 1945. One of the results was the fact that democracy and civil society today is much more entrenched in Germany than in the Weimar Republic. The universal Declaration of human rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, is certainly one of the most important lessons. Many survivors around the world were fighting for a new world without war, a world of freedom in the spirit of the oath of Buchenwald. For example, they were also reminded that Nazi Germany led a brutal war of annihilation against the Soviet Union. Millions of Soviet prisoners of war were doomed to death from starvation, only in Buchenwald, the SS systematically destroyed 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war.
The more rattled a lot of survivors at Buchenwald in Germany over the past five years the political forces of the right wing so massively questioned democracy and human rights. Some even say they feel like they are moved back in time. This causes a lot of anxiety and maybe even fear and despair. Despite this, the survivors remain in a fighting mood and do not want to tolerate this situation.
We, as a memorial, share and support this position where I can. We are always very clearly delineated boundaries in relation to “Alternatives for Germany”, where the nationalist thinkers, nationalists represented in leadership positions. And our position is confirmed by the recent evaluation of the Federal office for the protection of the Constitution (Counterintelligence Germany. — Approx. ed.), which is officially taken under the supervision of “wing”, formed by members of ADH, due to “proven extremist aspirations”. But we also use all available legal means against all kinds of nationalist propaganda, fake news and incitement, regardless of whether it is greeting Hitler (It. Hitlergruß Nazi salute in his outstretched right hand. — Approx. ed.) before the former gate of the camp in Buchenwald or verbal denial of the Holocaust during a tour of the memorial with visitors. All these provocations, we reported to the authorities.16 September 2019, 11:0775 great Pobedili years before liberation: a history of radio prisoners of Buchenwald
Farewell to the survivors, of course, affect our work, and for me personally it is always a painful blow. We know many former prisoners all over the world, this is a very outstanding personality. And when students still have the opportunity to talk to one of them, it always has a special effect and intensity.
At the same time, we have been around for decades using completely different sources, methods and opportunities in our educational work and got a good and encouraging experience. For example, meetings with young people in Buchenwald, with the possibilities of sleepovers and group work offer very good conditions for intensive study of this place and its history. Thuringia and other Federal land provide financial support for visits to memorial school classes, and we are working with partners to constantly raise funds to groups from overseas project or international meetings. Then the young people can not only intensely into the exhibitions themselves, but also to conduct research in the archives or work in the restoration workshop, where the finds from the territory of the camp cleaned and preserved. In the preparation of our new permanent exhibition about the concentration camp Buchenwald, which we opened in 2016, we asked young people how they would like to have information about Buchenwald, if they would like a lot of multimedia stations or touch screens? The overwhelming view was that they come to memorial to study the original evidence and relics.
— In 1937 in Weimar, conducted a large-scale construction work, the Thuringian Gauleiter (Nazi regional leader. — Approx. edition) Fritz Sauckel ordered the construction of monumental Executive and administrative center “Gauforum” on the outskirts of the historic old town. After 1990, there were rumors that the Nazis could hide there before the end of the war such treasures as the Amber room. Went similar rumors about the former concentration camp Buchenwald because the US army is revealed at the end of April 1945 warehouse in the quarries, where there were tons of values that the Nazis stole from their victims in the death camps in the East, including gold dental crowns and other precious metals. The Americans were taken. When you have any queries about the search, the memorial has always said that the extensive search operation could not be justified on simple assumptions, and only convincing information or better evidence. A few years ago, after extensive research of the former camp career, a journalist from Leipzig Peter-Hugo Scholz has presented us with new evidence that in early 1945 there apparently were working on the construction of tunnels. On this basis, the authorities of our Fund together with the Thuringian state office for preservation of monuments and archaeology decided to check the evidence — not so much because we suspected the possible cavities can be treasures, but rather to once and for all dispel recurring rumors. (TV channel) Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk actively accompanied the quest for the creation of radio and television documentaries. Based on the American aerial photograph taken in February 1945, which gives accurate information about the construction of the tunnel in his career, was first performed a search for possible voids in several places, using modern measurement methods of the soil. Because it did not give a clear picture, search excavations were conducted in two locations in October 2019. They helped to locate the entrances to three tunnels, all of them were empty. Because of having relatively many turns of the inputs, we can assume that it is a bomb shelter that guards from the SS ordered to build for themselves the prisoners shortly before the end of the war.
— I’m so touched that even in the terrible conditions that the SS deliberately created in the Buchenwald concentration camp to torture people, to incite them against each other, there were also people who showed solidarity and helped others. There were people who stood up for the weak, for children and adolescents. In a special hut in a small camp, in block 66 was rescued more than 900 Jewish children and adolescents. Other prisoners worked to ensure that these children didn’t have to work that they were provided, could be together and protected from the terror of the SS as best as possible. For me this is an encouraging example of solidarity and humanity in such a hopeless and deadly for many people the place.