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Survivors mark 70 years since liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp

Ceremonies are being held in Germany to mark the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp by the US army 70 years ago. Survivors from all over the world are to attend.

Survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp near the eastern German city of Weimar were to gather at the site on Saturday to commemorate the camp's liberation by American soldiers on 11 April, 1945.

The around 80 former camp inmates have come from several European countries as well as Australia, Israel, the USA and Canada to take part in a ceremony that included a minute of silence at 3:15 p.m local time (1315 UTC) - the time at which the camp was liberated - to remember their murdered co-prisoners.

Three veterans of the US army division that liberated the camp have also come to Weimar for the commemorations, which will continue into the evening with lectures, films and music in Weimar's German National Theater.

By 1945, the Buchenwald concentration camp was the largest on German soil. More than 50,000 people are thought to have met their deaths there under the Nazi regime, including 11,800 Jews.

The site is now a memorial housing exhibitions on the history of the camp.

April 1945 also saw the liberation of the concentration camps Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück and Dachau.

tj/jr (epd, dpa)

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