Frankfurt, Germany – More than 80 survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp observed a minute’s silence on Saturday, 70 years to the day since it was liberated.
Several US army veterans and representatives of the nearby eastern German town of Weimar joined the elderly survivors from Europe and countries including Israel, the United States, Australia and Canada for the commemoration, watched by a crowd of residents of the state of Thuringia.
Several of the participants in the ceremony wore replicas of the uniforms worn in the camp, and some wept, a journalist from the DPA agency reported.
They held a minute’s silence at 3.15 pm, the time that the camp was liberated by US forces.
At the gate to the camp, which incorporates the slogan in German “Jedem das Seine”, or “To each what he deserves”, the survivors laid red carnations and white roses on the commemorative plaques.
Buchenwald was the largest concentration camp on German soil. Between 1937 and 1945, the Nazis held almost a quarter of a million people there.
An estimated 56,000 people died in Buchenwald, either killed by the Nazis or they perished through illness, cold or starvation. Thousands of Jews were among the dead, but also Roma, gypsies and political opponents of the Nazis, homosexuals and Soviet prisoners of war.