Buchenwald Liberation

Today was the anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration camp near Weimar, Germany on April 11, 1945.

Earlier this week was Holocaust Remembrance Day or Yom HaShoah. I had not planned on writing another post this week about the Holocaust, but one of my friends posted an article about Buchenwald on Facebook and I decided that I wanted to share another interesting fact about Buchenwald. You can click on Yom HaShoah to read what I wrote earlier this week.

I have visited Buchenwald twice. The first time was in 2000 along with my boss and several of our students. We were both teaching courses in Germany.

Buchenwald Liberation - Buchenwald Concentration camp - Weimar, Germany - Holocaust - Eternal Time - April 11

Just looking at the pictures brings back memories of the trip, and also the old digital camera that I was using. It used floppy disks to store the pictures, so they do not have very good resolution.

The second time was in 2006, and I also took a picture of the main entrance gate of the camp.

Buchenwald Concentration Camp - Weimar, Germany - Holocaust Remembrance Day - Yom HaShoah

If you look closely at the first two pictures, you will see that the time on the clock is the same.

Buchenwald Liberation - Allied Forces - Weimar, Germany - Buchenwald Concentration Camp - Eternal Time - 3:15 PM April 11, 1945 - Stopped Clock

On my first trip in 2000, I took a closeup of the clock so that you could clearly see the time. I could have taken the same picture ten minutes later and the clock would still have been set to the same time. The clock is set eternally to 3:15 PM, which is the time that the camp was liberated by the Third Army.

I have a lot of other pictures that I took during the two visits, but today I want to focus on the positive. This was a day of liberation, and I don’t want to dwell on the horrors of the camp. Just on the hope of better things to come.

Buchenwald Liberation - April 11, 1945 - Concentration Camp - Security Fence - Holocaust

This day reminds me that even though we may go through rough times, we can be liberated. It may not take an army as our restraints may not be physical. However, with the help of others we can overcome adversity and begin to build life anew. There are so many stories of people who were liberated from concentration camps who went on to rebuild their lives. If they can overcome great adversity, we can overcome the smaller problems that we face.


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9 Responses to Buchenwald Liberation

  1. caroline says:

    Thank you for this post.

  2. mariayarri says:

    Thank you for sharing, both photos and the thoughtful and reminding text ! // Maria

  3. Boomdeeadda says:

    My favourite quote is by an artist/songwriter Patty Griffin, “we’ll grow kindness in our hearts, for all the strangers among us, till there are no strangers anymore”. I wish we could all live by these words, the world will be a peaceful place. Thanks for sharing your visit there Steven.

  4. I totally agree, Steven. People who can rebuild life after such adversity put everything into context.

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