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Camp liberation

April 11, 2010

Survivors and others commemorated the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi-run Buchenwald concentration camp on Sunday. The names of thousands of people who died there have now been published online.

A fromer prisoner stands in front of theBuchenwald concentration camp
Over 56,000 people are believed to have died in Buchenwald and nearby campsImage: dpa

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald gathered with dignitaries and US Army veterans to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the liberation of one of the largest Nazi concentration camps on German soil.

From 1937-1945, about 250,000 people were imprisoned in Buchenwald, near the eastern German city of Weimar.

Camp prisoners came from all over Europe and Russia, and worked primarily as forced labor in armament factories. When US Army forces arrived at the camp on April 11, 1945, they liberated about 21,000 people - most of them shockingly emaciated.

Unknown victims

The anniversary of the liberation comes just one day after the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation announced it had published online a virtual memorial - a list of those killed by the Nazis at the camp.

The memorial list contains the names of 38,000 victims researchers and volunteers were able to confirm. However, the names of thousands more who died during what were known as the “death marches” toward the end of the war are still not known.

More than 56,000 people are said to have died in Buchenwald and outlying camps before the war ended in 1945 either through execution, starvation or disease. Victims included Jews, communists, gays, Roma and Sinti, and others from across central Europe.

A former prisoner from Ukraine kisses a US Army veteran
The Sixth Tank Division of the Third US Army was horrified by what they saw at BuchenwaldImage: dpa

In the virtual list, a page has been dedicated to each of the known victims, carrying details like dates of birth and death.

The spokesman for the memorial appealed to relatives to send in additional information to enable them to complete the obituary for each.

It took 10 years' work and research, including the examination of more than 500,000 documents to draw up the list, which is still incomplete.

The online memorials on the Web site are currently in German, but they are expected to be posted in other languages as well.

Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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