Some of the remaining survivors of the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald have marked the 70th anniversary of its liberation. A minute of silence was held to remember the victims who died in the camp.
Around 80 former inmates of Buchenwald near Weimar in eastern Germany gathered in the main square of the camp on Saturday to mark their liberation by US soldiers on April 11, 1945. Also on hand for the ceremonies to mark the anniversary were three US Army veterans involved in the operation 70 years ago.
With a minute of silence they paid tribute to the estimated 56,000 people who died at the camp, either having been killed by the Nazis or perishing through starvation, cold, or illness.
The few dozen remaining survivors came from several countries, including Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia and a number of European nations.
Around 21,000 detainees, including more than 900 children were still alive when the Americans arrived.
Buchenwald was the biggest concentration camp on German soil. Between July of 1937 and April of 1945 the Nazis held almost 250,000 people at Buchenwald and its sub-camps, including Jews, political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, as well as Sinti and Roma.
Other camps freed by US troops in April 1945 included Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück and Dachau.
The memorial ceremonies were to continue at the National Theater in Weimar beginning later on Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday another event is to be held at the National Theater, attended by dignitaries such as the premier of the state of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, and the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
pfd/rc (dpa, AP, EPD)