Showing posts with label Weimar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weimar. Show all posts

Remaining Nazi Sites in Weimar and Buchenwald

For other sites in Thüringen

Weimar was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. In the 19th century, famous composers like Franz Liszt made a music centre of Weimar and later, artists and architects like Henry van de Velde, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius came to the city and founded the Bauhaus movement, the most important German design school of the interwar period.  Gropius had founded the Bauhaus School in 1919 by a merger of the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School with the Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar. The Bauhaus in Weimar lasted until 1925 when it moved to Dessau, after the newly elected right-wing Thuringian council put pressure on the School by withdrawing funding and forcing its teachers to quit. In fact, there are many buildings remaining in Weimar today that have influences from the Bauhaus period. However, only one original Bauhaus building was constructed during 1919–1925, the Haus am Horn, now used for exhibitions and events on Bauhaus culture. However, the political history of 20th-century Weimar itself was inconsistent: it was the place where Germany's first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics, as well as one of the cities mythologised by Nazi propaganda.
The period in German history from 1919 to 1933 is commonly referred to as the Weimar Republic, as the Republic's constitution was drafted here. Berlin as the capital was considered too dangerous for the National Assembly to use as a meeting place, because of its street rioting after the 1918 German Revolution and so here on February 6, 1919, 423 MPs met in the small Thuringian town for 197 days. Weimar was chosen not only because of the riots in Berlin, but also because of the good transport connections and because there were enough hotels in the city of pensioners and civil servants.  In 1920, the federal state of Thuringia was founded by an association of eight former microstates (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Reuss-Gera and Reuss-Greiz) and Weimar became its capital. Due to that fact, the city experienced another period of growth.  In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School by a merger of the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School with the Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar. The Bauhaus in Weimar lasted from 1919 to 1925, when it moved to Dessau, after the newly elected right-wing Thuringian council put pressure on the School by withdrawing funding and forcing its teachers to quit. Many buildings in Weimar today have influences from the Bauhaus period. However, only one original Bauhaus building was constructed during 1919–1925, the Haus am Horn, now used for exhibitions and events on Bauhaus culture. The Weimar Republic era was marked by a constant conflict between progressive forces and reactionary right wing forces, the former represented by Harry Graf Kessler and the latter Adolf Bartels in Weimar. After 1929, the right wing forces prevailed and Weimar became an early centre of Nazism. Weimar was important to the Nazis for two reasons: first, it was where the hated Weimar Republic was founded, and second, it was a centre of German high culture during recent centuries. In 1926, the Nazis held their party convention in Weimar. Adolf Hitler visited Weimar more than forty times prior to 1933. In 1930, Wilhelm Frick became minister for internal affairs and education in Thuringia, the first Nazi minister in Germany. In 1932, the Nazis came to power in Thuringia under Fritz Sauckel. In 1933, the first Concentration Camps were established around Weimar in Nohra (the first one in Germany) and Bad Sulza. Most prisoners at this time were communists and social democrats. After Kristallnacht in 1938, harassment of Jews became more intense, so that many of them emigrated or were arrested. The Weimar Synagogue was destroyed in 1938. Meanwhile during the 1930s, the barracks in Weimar was greatly extended. As it was the capital of Thuringia, the Nazis built a new Roman-fascist-style administrative centre between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only Nazi governmental building completed outside Berlin (though there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian State Administration. Other Giesler buildings are the "Villa Sauckel", the Governor's palace and the "Hotel Elephant" in the city centre.
Hitler visited Weimar at least 35 times and each time stayed at the Haus Elephant. Here he is shown being saluted from its balcony on November 11, 1938 and me in 2007. On November 27, 1927 Hitler held a speech here "announcing a change of course" in the election campaigns according to Kershaw. In 1932 Hitler gave interviews to the press here on January 31 and November 27 and on June 17, 1933 over a thousand Thüringian Nazi members were honoured in the presence of Hitler.
   In July 1926, Hitler felt strong enough to hold a mass rally of the Party at Weimar, in Thuringia, one of the few States in which he was still allowed to speak. Five thousand men took part in the march past, with Hitler standing in his car and returning their salute, for the first time, with outstretched arm. Hoffman's photographs made it all look highly impressive, and a hundred thousand copies of the Volkischer Beobachter were distributed throughout the country. It was the first of the Reichsparteitage later to be staged, year after year, at Nuremberg.
The Nazi Party Congress took place at that time in the German National Theatre from about 14.00 to 15.00. The Reich Delegates' Congress began that morning at 10.00 with a short speech by Artur Dinter, which was followed by a presentation by Gottfried Feder on "The State, Money and Finance" and the cash report by Treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz. After a break, starting at noon, came the reports on the special conferences and a report by Joseph Goebbels about propaganda. The congress ended with Hitler's speech when, at around 16.00 a demonstration march through Weimar followed by a rally on the market square.
Hitler in 1938 and from the same shot today
Julius Schaub cupped his hand over one ear and grunted. ‘Mein Fuehrer, do you remember the Hotel Elephant at Weimar!’ ‘And how!’ said Hitler. ‘My regular rooms had running water but no WC, so I had to walk down this long corridor and vanish into the little room at the end. It was sheer purgatory every time, because when I left my room word spread around the hotel like wildfire, and when I emerged from the closet they were all waiting to cheer me and I had to give the Hitler salute and a rather embarrassed smile all the way back to my room. Later on I had that hotel rebuilt.’     Irving (778) Hitler's War
Hitler tourism flourished in Weimar as well, a city the Führer visited at least once a year between 1925 and 1939. When there, he always stayed at his favourite hotel, the Elephant. Once he was in power, local brochures and guides began to promote the hotel as a ‘not to be missed’ attraction for visitors to Weimar. The hotel, built in 1696, was, according to the Weimar Tourism Society, not only the inn ‘most visited by famous guests’ during the classical period, including Goethe; it was also the ‘residence of the Führer during his visits to Weimar’. Tourists flocked to the Elephant. When Hitler was there, crowds of visitors and locals alike gathered outside in hopes of catching a glimpse of him. While they did, they were said to have chanted:
Lieber Führer, komm heraus aus dem Elephantenhaus, Lieber Führer sieh doch ein, wir können nicht mehr länger schrein’ Lieber Führer, geh nicht fort, bleib an diesem schönen Ort. [Dear Führer, come on out, out of the Elephant House. Dear Führer, please do see we can’t scream any longer. Dear Führer, don’t go away – in this pretty place you should stay.]
Even when he was not there, the hotel remained a popular attraction for Germans. Yet not all were satisfied with their visit. Paul Gerhard, a local reporter, tour guide and Heimat historian wrote about the experiences of a ‘poor comrade from the village’, who had visited the Elephant Hotel ‘to see where our Führer lives’ and left ‘shocked at the high drink prices’. Still, the hotel drew its share of Weimar’s guests and viewing it became one of the highlights of the city’s Nazi tourist culture.
Hermann Goering delivering a speech whilst standing in an open car at the Gau Parteitag rally in Weimar on April 12, 1931 as Hitler stands beside. On the right is the rear of the hotel showing Hitler's former swastika-adorned balcony and today. Hitler's private suite faced this quiet garden but after its ostentatious inauguration in November 1938, however, it was little used because Hitler no longer came to his "Palatinate" too often.

SA rally in front of the rathaus in 1931 and another rally in 1932. It had been here on March 6, 1932 and January 15, 1933 that Hitler spoke, the latter occasion to nearly 10, 000 people. According to Goebbels and Lohse, Hitler is said to have spoken for three hours. It had been preceded by a previous discussion among the Gauleiters chaired by Rudolf Hess. According to the recollections of the then-Gauleiter of the Gau of Halle-Merseburg, Rudolf Jordan, Hitler - strengthened by the previous day's election victory in Lippe - used this conference to finally distance himself from Gregor Straßer and to firmly reunite all Gaue in to get his hand.
On the left the ϟϟ-Stabswache in front of the National Museum in 1934 when the site was used used as the Reichsstatthalterei and me at the site today. In search of a representative seat, Nazi Gauleiter and Reich Governor Fritz Sauckel decided in July 1933 to install his office in the east wing of the then Landesmuseum, staying here until 1937. This severely restricted the museum's operation - all the more regrettable since the house had been one of the most renowned German museums of modern art in the 1920s. But by 1930, the tide had turned as Thuringia's Minister of Culture Wilhelm Frick, a Nazi from the very beginning, demanded that Wilhelm Köhler remove about seventy works of the Classical Modernism from the Schlossmuseum. Köhler was director of the museum since 1919 and at the same time a committed supporter of the Bauhaus and the avant-garde. In October 1930, the State Museum presented works by the harshest critic of aesthetic modernism, the Weimar painter and cultural editor Mathilde von Freytag-Loringhoven. These events around Frick's notorious decree against the Negro culture for German nationality were a reflection of later attacks against modern art. From March 23 to April 24, 1939, the Landesmuseum exhibited the exhibition Entartete Kunst conceived for Munich in 1937. This "horror show" was combined with the touring exhibition Entartete Musik, which Weimar's most influential Nazi cultural functionary, Hans Severus Ziegler, had already designed in 1938 for the Düsseldorfer Reichsmusiktage. The GIF on the left attempts to show the Neues Museum on Adolf-Hitler-Platz and today.
That on the right shows more clearly the damage incurred on the building after the war and today. In the air raids on Weimar in March 1945, air mines damaged the roof of the building, but it was repaired for the first Thuringian Art Exhibition in 1946. Then began the expansion of all recyclable materials, which led from 1948 to decay. During the DDR era, the building was a ruin, and there were considerations for its demolition. Even before the collapse of the East German regime citizens raised the demand for the reconstruction of the museum, which finally took place on the still solid building fabric between 1996 and 1998. Since 2004, special exhibitions have been shown in the Neues Museum.
Berlin was not the only city in which new building projects were designed and executed under Hitler. In Weimar, there was the enormous Gauforum on the massive square, Platz Adolf Hitlers. Hitler had made the first thrust of the spade (Spatenstich) on 4 July 1936 during the festivities to mark the tenth anniversary of the second Reich Party Rally. Heralded as the ‘fundament of a new classicism’, the Gauforum, designed by architect Hermann Giesler, was intended to serve as a new centre of National Socialist power in the state of Thuringia. The three buildings, meant to surround a gigantic parade ground, were to house offices for the district leadership, individual divisions of the Party and the German Labour Front. An enormous meeting hall, the Hall of the National Community, was also planned. The Nazis had plans for similarly massive governmental complexes elsewhere in the Reich, but the Gauforum was the first and only on which construction actually began. The site of the Gauforum was soon added to the tourist’s itinerary, but tourism brochures often relied on photographs of architectural models since the complex was never fully completed.
Kristin Semmens, Seeing Hitler's Germany: Tourism in the Third Reich
Sauckel and Hitler at groundbreaking July 4, 1936
Gauleiter Sauckel's expanding power and the growing importance of Weimar as the capital of the Gau and as an industrial and armaments location made it advisable from 1934 to plan larger administrative and representative buildings for the party and the state. This met with ideas from the Berlin Nazi leadership to upgrade all German Gau capitals architecturally. In Weimar, when the construction ensemble was first thought of as being located near the Goethe National Museum, the park in front of the Landesmuseum soon moved into the planner's realm. From November 1934, several architectural competitions were held, in the result of which Hermann Giesler finally won the contract for a Weimar Gauforum. Not least Hitler himself and his star architect Albert Speer made sure of that. After the groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1936, by Hitler himself and the laying of the foundation stone on May 1, 1937, by Rudolf Hess, work began on Adolf Hitler's site. This construction was completed, the Weimar prototype for all German Gauforen, but never. After 1945, three buildings initially housed the Soviet Military Administration of Thuringia, then other municipal authorities and educational institutions. In the 1970s, finally, the multi-purpose building, now called the Atrium, was turned into a multipurpose building from Kopfbau, which was planned to be the hall of the Volksgemeinschaft in 1937. A comprehensive exhibition on the history of the entire complex can be found in the annex of the unfinished bell tower. To establish the Gauforum, the northern part of the suburb of Jakobsvorstadt saw a total of 139 houses demolished and the small river Asbach be redirected. Rudolf Hess laid the foundation stone of the "hall of the national community" and the solemnly renamed the square Adolf-Hitler-Platz on May 1, 1937. At the carefully staged mass rally nearly 40,000 people took part. The massive investment clearly demonstrates the leadership of the Nazi Party, the small town houses of the city of Weimar should appear next to it. Hitler personally added the design to the "hall of the national community" with standing room for 20,000 and a bell tower which was the tallest building in Weimar. Fritz Sauckel celebrated his 45th birthday in 1939 inside. By 1943 all the buildings were completed with the exception of the hall, using in the construction work prisoners from Buchenwald. One can see the Reichsstatthalterei in this model in the centre of the background with the bell tower planned to have been considerably higher. 
The Deutsche Arbeitsfront building, shown in the foreground of the model on the left, served as the Headquarters for the amalgamated National Socialist trade union organisation which replaced the free and diverse Weimar trade unions that Hitler outlawed on May 2, 1933. Its leader was Dr. Robert Ley, who claimed its aim as 'to create a true social and productive community' by serving as a medium through which workers and owners could mutually represent their interests. The open staircase of the museum shown above affords one a good view of a group of buildings which now has an underground car park under Weimarplatz, billboards at the Atrium shopping centre and signs on the Thuringian state administration office which reveal a pragmatic use of the buildings. In the vernacular, they are today sarcastically referred to as the "Reichskaufshalle." During the Nazi era they were called the "Sauckropolis" in reference to the then-client.
The most famous city in the hilly region, Weimar, was taken on the 12th. Buchenwald was so close to Weimar that its ancient trees had been the object of Goethe’s daily walks, and yet the Weimarer insisted that they had not known what was happening behind the barbed wire. To some extent this was true, but prisoners were used for menial tasks around the town and had been involved in the often mortal work building the new Adolf- Hitler-Platz between the old town and the railway station. Even if they had been unclear about the extent of the brutality, they knew full well that the prisoners were abused and maltreated.  
The Reichsstatthalter was used by the Nazis to gain direct control over the federal states by abolishing independent state governments and parliaments through the process of Gleichschaltung (coordination). The Reichsstatthalterei here in Weimar was the Headquarters for Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel. He served as Reich defence commissioner for the Kassel district before being appointed General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment on 21 March 1942, on the recommendation of Albert Speer. He worked directly under Hitler through the Four-Year Plan Office, directing and controlling German labour. He was found guilty at the Nuremberg War trails of war crimes and crimes against humanity and hanged on October 16, 1946. His last words were recorded as "Ich sterbe unschuldig, mein Urteil ist ungerecht. Gott beschütze Deutschland!" (I die innocent, my sentence is unjust. God protect Germany!). His superior, Albert Speer, was only given a twenty year prison term. Shortly after the war, the square in the middle of Gauforum was used as parade ground for the Soviet Army, renamed Karl-Marx-Platz on May 1, 1945. Between the 1950s and 1989 it was transformed to offices, a school and a store. Today the main building is used as a shopping mall. The Gauforum remained empty until the war ended, the place being renamed on May 1, 1945. The shell of the unfinished hall was indeed completed after the war, but only in 1967 made available by installing floors. In 1976, the now barely visible concrete slat façade was installed. Inside the tower is a permanent exhibition is on the history of the place, the entrance is on the corner Weimarplatz and Peace Street.
The Nazi Party kreishaus on Schwanseestraße. It was the first public new Nazi building in Weimar, built between 1936-37. It served as the decentralised administrative offices and departments of the Nazi party. Although the decision to build the site was made as early as 1934, it was only at the beginning of 1936 that the issue with land was solved by the purchase of the "Stahr property" on Schwanseestrasse. As headquarters of the district administration and at the same time the first architectural self-presentation of the Nazi Party in Weimar, this project was of particular importance and culminated in two architectural competitions through which eight architects, Barthel, Meisel, Flemming, Knopf and Rietschel, Wiesenbach and Späthe from Weimar and Schirrmeister from Jena, submitted drafts. From these a committee of experts, including deputy Gauleiter Siekmeier, NSDAP Kreisleiter Hofmann, the Gauinspektor and Nazi commissioner for Weimar Biedermann, the head of the construction department of the Thuringian Ministry of Finance, Ministerialrat Voigt and Stadtoberbaurat Lehrmann, directed Georg Schirrmeister and Ernst Flemming to produce a collaborative design which in the end never materialised. District Administrator Hofmann finally commissioned Ernst Flemming with the planning. The ground-breaking ceremony took place symbolically in 1936 on May 1, the "Day of National Work," but the excavation work began only in early June 1936. Already on November 21, 1936 the topping-out ceremony was celebrated; in July 1937, the first offices began their work in the house, and the "artistic" design of the house with its Nazi symbols and heroic paintings were completed after. The new building was referred to in the press as the "District House of the NSDAP", but it also included other county-level organisations.
Standing in front of the German National Theatre, where the Weimar Constitution was ratified. Founded in 1791 under Goethe's direction, it was given the name Deutsches Nationaltheater in 1919, when the National Assembly met here and decided the constitution of the Weimar Republic. When, in August 1924, groups of nationalists wanted to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the so-called Augusterlebnisses 1914 and thus the deutsche Volksgemeinschaft, they deliberately chose the Nationaltheater to to symbolically purify it from Ungeist der Novemberabrecher. The Nazis, who relocated their Reich Party Rally to Weimar at the beginning of July 1926, struck a similar note. In the same place that Friedrich Ebert had sworn his oath to the constitution in 1919, Hitler consecrated the highest relic of the movement, the 'blood flag'. Many other party events followed. The tenth anniversary of the Reichsparteitag in 1936 was particularly successful as masses gathered in front of the theatre to cheer their "leader". During the Nazi era Hitler's loyalists and confidants such as Ernst Nobbe and Hans Severus Ziegler served as its general director, removing works from the avant-garde from the repertoire, which had earlier been staged. Nazi-compliant performances took over as the regime preferred conservative staged classic performances and operettas.
Hitler in front; Hess in backseat
The advocate of the "blood and soil" ideology banished all pieces of Jewish and politically undesirable authors from the schedule. He also fought for the dismissal of "non-Aryan" actors and musicians. The ϟϟ wardens of the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp, on the other hand, were courted as an audience and reserved the best places in particular row C7. The theatre also enjoyed use of the ϟϟ casino in Buchenwald. Hitler, who wanted to expand the Weimar Nationaltheater into a leading stage of the German Reich, supported it not only financially but also attended numerous operatic and operetta performances. His place was specially adapted for him and decorated with a hook-and-cross covering hanging over the parapet. At the beginning of the 1930s the actress Emmy Sonnemann, the future wife of Hermann Goering, was among its ensemble. In September 1944 the theatre had to close and was used as armaments company of the company Siemens & Halske. During the air attack on February 9, 1945, the building had been burnt out. The ceremonial reopening took place with a production of Faust on August 28, 1948.
Hitler in front of the Ernst Rietschel's Goethe-Schiller statue, probably the most recognisable symbol for Weimar, which has stood here on Theaterplatz since 1857. Hitler spoke at the National Theatre at noon April 12, 1931 at a porivate meeting of the Gaufuhrertagung of the Thuringian Nazi Party, opened by Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel. After greetings from SA Oberführer Gustav Zunkel, Hans Schemm and the Saxon Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann, Gau propaganda leader Franz Metzner, chief editor Hans Ziegler and Fritz Wächtler, Sauckel spoke. Then Hitler, who had previously spoken at the dedication of the SA standard, gave his speech. In the afternoon he inspected a march of around 12,000 members of the SA, ϟϟ and HJ on the market square according to the Weimarische Zeitung of the following day.
According to Hans Pohlsander, "Weimar boasts one of the most famous and most beloved monuments in all of Germany, the Goethe–Schiller monument in front of the Nationaltheater" which Paul Zanker argues represented the start of "a true cult of the monument [when] the Germans began to see themselves, faute de mieux, as "the people of poets and thinkers." There are replicas in Cleveland, Syracuse, Milwaukee and San Francisco and even a smaller one in Anting, a "German-themed" town outside Shanghai. From May 1942 to 1945 the monument - the only one in the city - was walled in for protection against air raids; in the summer of 1945 it was restored.
 Behind the statue on the facade of the theatre shown on the right is the memorial tablet designed by Walter Gropius commemorating the adoption of the first democratic constitution in Germany being removed by SA men in March 1933. A replica of the panel can be seen to the left of the entrance behind. It had been inaugurated on August 11, 1922, after the ceremony began at 16.00 with a speech from the former Minister of State which ended with a cheer for the republic and the daughter of Minister of State Frölich unveiling the memorial. 
 At the order of the Thuringian Minister of Education Fritz Wachtler the memorial board was removed on March 26, 1933 with the local newspaper announcing its removal under the headline "The disgrace is extinguished". The article stated how, "[g]iven that the inscription on this tablet represents an infamous lie and lies are eradicated in the new state, it was a matter of course that this tablet had to disappear... The design comes from the communist former Weimar Bauhaus leader Gropius, the 'darling' of the former state government, who 'worked' here from 1919 to 1925! ... The tablet was embedded in the masonry as if it had to stay there for centuries. The new era has already done other deeds, so it has not stopped at the table of shame. Weimar is German again!" It is assumed that the sign was temporarily stored and, unnoticed during the war, escaped melting. The replica was installed on August 28, 1948.
On the left the Hitler Youth and BDM with a Nazi Propagandawagen in front of the Wittumspalais in 1943. Just past the Wittumspalais turning into Schillerstrasse from 1911 to 1938 was the well-known textile department store of the Sachs and Berlowitz families, who were among the founding members of the Jewish community in Weimar, located on the right-hand side where an eyewear shop is located today. The company was 'Aryanised' in 1938; part of the Berlowitz family managed to escape to Palestine, other members were murdered in Latvia.
On Schillerstrasse is Schiller's house, opened in 1847 as Germany's first literary memory museum. Below Hitler is shown in 1934 outside Schiller's house where the poet lived from 1802 until his death in 1805, and me in front today. The Nazis were masters in the instrumentalisation of almost all cultural traditions in Germany. Whilst local Nazi functionaries had called for a boycott of the republican Reichs- Goethe celebration in 1932, in 1933 it was propagandistically clever to use the fact that the year of the "seizure of power" was also a year of Luther. The "free spirit" Luther was short-circuited politically with the "liberator" Hitler. One year later, national Schiller celebrations were staged with great pomp in Marbach am Neckar (Schiller's place of birth) and in Weimar on the occasion of Schiller's 175th birthday. Schiller's adaptation by the regime as a 'national poet, 'freedom hero' and 'liberator' of the Germans was able to build on the nationalisation of the classics of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Goethe's friend, who wanted to write "for humanity," rather than "for a nation," had long ago made a contemporar of all subsequent epochs, often being narrowed down nationalistically. It was more subtle to reinterpret Schiller's longing for freedom with the idea of the self-liberation of the Germans under their "Führer" or to accentuate the "heroic" in Schiller's own life and the fate of his most famous dramatists. Less pleasant was the regime's idea of tyrannicide (William Tell) and the demand for freedom of thought (Don Carlos) - both dramas were banned in 1941-44.
Schiller's death chamber, decorated with Nazi paraphernalia
In 1941 the first heavy bombing raids were flown on German cities, and the furniture here used by Friedrich Schiller was deemed important cultural relics. The Schiller Museum was also kept open to the  war-weary "national community" to suggest perseverance. Thus on February 17, 1942 a consultation on the "Protection of cultural sites, art treasures and cultural assets" adopted the measure to produce faithful copies of the museum's items whilst the originals were brought to the basement of what was left of the Nietzsche Memorial Hall. The workshops of the ϟϟ in Buchenwald concentration camp offered a pragmatic and cost-effective way where the inmates made forty wooden crates for storage of smaller items, as well as copies of Schiller's desk, bed, two chairs and spinet.  The city government was pleased with the quality of the reproductions highly satisfied and the mayor had a affix a plaque with the following text in the Schiller House affixed: "Furniture in Schiller's work and death room are replicas of the originals now placed in safety." After the war, the original furnishings were returned to the Schiller House. 
In September 1934 the Prussian Ministry of Education received an angry letter from a Mr Heinrich Ludendorff: ‘As is conveyed to me by reliable sources,’ he wrote, ‘a volume of the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn has lain for years in the Schiller House in Weimar as the only book on this German poet’s writing desk in his study. ... Visitors to this room ... [have] struggled in vain for a long time to have this book removed.’ The 1930 guide to the house confirms that Mendelssohn’s ‘philosophical writings’ did indeed lie on the desk alongside a quill pen, a letter opener and a globe. The Thuringian Minister for Education requested more information on the matter. In response, the director of the Schiller House, Professor Eduard Scheidemantel, made a moving, eloquent plea to leave the book where it was, claiming he had never heard any calls for its removal. Scheidemantel’s arguments were ignored: the book was removed and guides to the house no longer mentioned it. Guides to the Goethe House during the Nazi period remarked that the only things missing from that poet’s study, which otherwise remained in the same condition as just after his death, were ‘a few meaningless pieces, among them, several books’. It is tempting to attribute this absence to the kind of cultural cleansing that occurred at the Schiller House. Likewise, it is possible to see the ‘thorough re-arrangement’ of the rooms in the Kirms-Krackow-House, which took place in the Third Reich and which ‘freed [them] from all foreign ingredients’, in a similar light. Proof that the cultural sites of memory underwent alterations along such blatantly ideological lines in Weimar or elsewhere in Germany is difficult to obtain. But these kinds of disappearing acts are easy to detect in that other essential item of touristic equipment, the map.
Semmens (60-61)
Hitler visiting the Nietzsche Archives in August, 1934, being welcomed by Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, the month he became absolute ruler. Early in February 1932 Hitler presented Förster-Nietzsche with a bouquet of roses in Weimar. Nietzsche's sister later responded by giving Hitler Nietzsche's walking stick. However, Nietzsche was never mentioned in either public or private speeches by Hitler, and National Socialism was limited to symbolic gestures in this regard. In 1934, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra was laid down in the burial vault of the Tannenberg memorial alongside Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the 20th Century and Hitler's Mein Kampf. In 1935 Hitler appeared in the Nietzsche archive for the funeral service for the late Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. In 1934 the idea of ​​building a Nietzsche Memorial Hall came up. Hitler had donated 50,000 RM from his private fortune for the project. The project was particularly supported by Fritz Sauckel and so in 1937 construction began on the neighbouring property of the Nietzsche Archive although it could not be completed after the start of the war. From 1935 to 1941 a total of 557,000 RM was made available with only the Ministry of Propaganda and the Ministry of Education expressly refusing to support the construction. At the request of Georg Lüttke, Mussolini sent a Dionysos statue, which only arrived in 1944 and could no longer be erected because the Nietzsche Hall was now being used by the Thuringian government and police. 1944 was the hundredth anniversary of Nietzsche's birthday and anniversary editions were planned, but were not realised due to adverse circumstances. Rosenberg gave a speech at the commemoration hour on October 15, 1944 in Weimar whilst Heinrich Härtle gave a lecture in Wilhelmshaven and Hans Frank in Kraków.

The bust remains in the same location. After 1918, the archive became a place where anti-Democrats and Republican opponents set the tone. Elisabeth's early sympathies for Mussolini were extended to include the Nazis and their prominent representatives around 1930. For the first time in 1932, Hitler visited the house, returned several times, and was also present at the state funeral for Förster-Nietzsche in November 1935. After the capitulation to the Anglo-American forces in 1945, the archive closed its doors and was never reopened. The archive holdings came to the Goethe and Schiller archives. The building is today the seat of the Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche.
Me in front at today's Platz der Demokratie; the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt", Gelbe Schloss and Residenzschloss remain intact. After 1918, the Residenzschloss functioned as the official seat of the Provisional Government, and then of the democratic state parliament in the Free State of Thuringia. This made it the scene of fierce debates between democrats and opponents of the republic. The so-called Ordnungsbund government, in office from February 1924 and made up of various bourgeois parties, was only able to act with the toleration of völkisch deputies. In January 1930, a state government was formed, which for the first time included two Nazis as ministers. If the Hotel Elephant was a place of Hitler's triumph in Weimar a few yards down here on Platz der Demokratie was a site a humiliation for Hitler. Minister of the Interior and Education Wilhelm Frick had Hitler issued with a certificate of appointment as gendarmerie commissioner in Hildburghausen in another attempt to naturalise the Austrian Hitler. A year and a half later, this action was discovered; the new state parliament convened a committee of inquiry through which its chairman Hermann Brill of the SPD invited Hitler, Frick and Sauckel as witnesses. Hitler cut a rather pathetic figure, but in speeches to supporters in Weimar he stylised himself as the winner of the process. Even before the Nazis' landslide victory in July 1932, the state parliament was dissolved and didn't meet again until 1945. In 1933, the Nazi authorities moved into the Residenzschloss. From June 1937, Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter Sauckel resided here with his staff. Brill eventually was imprisoned in Brandenburg and in 1943 in the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the liberation, he was one of the leading personalities of a new democratic beginning, which, however, was not given a chance in the new regime.
The Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek on the right and Hitler in front in 1937. The state library, as the institution was known from August 1919, was in crisis since the end of the 19th century, which continued to worsen during the economically turbulent 1920s. Hopes that the Nazis would invest in the library quickly vanished after 1933 when, instead, what occurred what the aryanisation of the staff. Deputy Director Paul Ortlepp, married to a Jewish woman, was harassed, spied on, and removed from office in December 1937. His wife ended up being murdered in August 1943 in Auschwitz. After the death of Werner Deetjens in 1939 and the tenure of interim director Hermann Blumenthal, the Nazi cultural bureaucracy installed the völkisch author Robert Hohlbaum from Vienna. He had been in charge of the Duisburg city library since 1937 and now used the library as a forum for his ideological and poetic presumptions. After Weimar capitulated on April 12, 1945, a dozen days later the undamaged library reopened its doors, allowing for Paul Ortlepps's rehabilitation and reinstatement as director until his early death in July 1945. The Duchess Anna Amalia Library has recently attracted a great deal of publicity, in particular through its fire in September 2004.  
The Bastille, schloß Hornstein, with Nazi flags flying from the Residenskaffee replaced by the red ensign on the back of my bike, and the wife in front a dozen years earlier.

The Bastille and Neptune fountain are the only set reference points between these images of the market square immediately after its extensive bombing on February 9, 1945 and today. The Wielandbrunnen on Wielandplatz continues to experience considerable reconstruction. During bombing raids on the town– almost exclusively by the USAAF – on February 9, 27 and on March 10, 1945, the city centre was badly damaged as seen here. 965 tonnes of bombs were dropped. On February 9, 1945 alone, around 460 residents lost their lives in a daytime attack by 198  B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombers from an altitude of around 6,000 metres. Among them were eighty of the ninety children from the NSV kindergarten (today the “Hufeland” day care centre). A total of 1,254 residents and 600 Buchenwald prisoners died in the air raids. 325 buildings ended up being destroyed and another 210 badly damaged among which were the Herderkirche, the Gelbe Schloss, Jägerhaus, Zeughaus, Wittumspalais, Templar House in the Goethe Park, the Kulissenhaus on Theaterplatz, the State Museum, the National Theatre, the court pharmacy, the Stadthaus, the Fürstenkeller and the Gasthof zum Erbprinz.
Also affected were the Goethe House, Vulpius Houses, Schiller House, Residenzschloss, Goethe's Garden House, Kirms-Krackow House, Sächsischer Hof and Deutschritterhaus. These culturally valuable buildings were largely rebuilt with quite a few - despite the general shortage - already shortly after the war. In the last months of the war, Weimar and the surrounding area also suffered heavily from low-flying aircraft attacks. Particularly tragic was the death of 117 Allied prisoners of war who died on February 27, 1945 on the autobahn west of Weimar as a result of gunfire from American fighter-bombers.
At the end of the war Lieutenant Colonel Josef Ritter von Gadolla, an Austrian, decided not to obey the order for the absolute defence of Weimar and thus, as combat commander, prevented the final destruction of Weimar. This action cost him his life, as he was arrested by Wehrmacht soldiers on the way to the advancing Americans and, one day after Gotha's surrender on April 5, 1945 in the Mackensen barracks in Weimar was sentenced to death and summarily shot because of his "abandonment of the festen Platzes Gotha". Gadolla thus became a victim of Nazi military justice; the verdict was overturned in 1997 and he was thus rehabilitated.
The Market Square on April 12, 1945 with American soldiers from the 317th Regiment. After the American 3rd army had reached Buchenwald concentration camp the day befoe an American city command had been set up in Weimar, the latter ordered a compulsory visit by one thousand residents to the liberated camp to force them to acknowledge the horror of their regime. At the beginning of July, the Americans withdrew from Thuringia, and the period of Soviet occupation began in Weimar.
 The Weimarhalle flanked by Nazi flags and its current form today. Built in 1931 within just fifteen months of construction according to the designs of Max and Günther Vogeler in the style of the New Objectivity directly behind the Bertuchhaus, today's city museum in Froriepschen garden. In 1925 the Weimar-Halle Aktiengesellschaft was founded to finance the largest hall building. On the occasion of the centen of the death of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on March 12, 1932, the Weimarhalle was inaugurated with a "memorial service of the German Reich". The National Socialists used the Weimarhalle as the venue for their mass events. Even before the Nazis' 'seizure of power,' Hitler appeared here on March 15, 1932 for a mass rally of the Nazi Gau Thuringia. After the war the Weimarhalle served until 1948 as the replacement venue for the destroyed German National Theatre. After that, it was the scene of numerous major political events until the Weimarhalle from 1952 to 1974 became the home of Soviet officers.
The main railway station in July 1936 and today. Between 1914 and 1922 this new entrance building was built in the neoclassical style although the construction work was suspended because of the First World War from 1916. Nearly 10,000 Jewish men were deported in the days after Kristallnacht in 1938 to Buchenwald. They were first transported to the Weimar Central Station, where ϟϟ and auxiliary police drove them through the tunnel passage and beat them. Survivor Ernst Cramer recalled how "[i]t seemed pointless; we were herded like cattle and beaten against the wall [...], Go, Go! ' roared our tormentors, and drove us up the stairs with their batons out of the station forecourt, a truck waiting there. We were crammed within as more new people were beaten inside." Such abuses took place in public. At the eastern entrance of the station in 1998 a memorial plaque was erected, which commemorates the arrival of the victims of the anti-Jewish pogrom in Weimar. Later from 1943 during the war the prisoners were transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp via the connecting route to Buchenwald which started here. Between 1946 and 1953, part of this railway was used for public transport.
In 1936, the Gestapo moved from the police headquarters in the former Sophie Street to here, the former Grand Ducal stables. After the abdication of Grand Duke Karl in 1918, the site, known as the Marstall, became the seat of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice in Thuringia, founded in 1920. In 1937, the Gestapo office in Thuringia moved into the eastern wing of the building, the Ilm Pavilion. It set up a "house gaol" in the basement where political prisoners were heard. When the Gestapo needed more space, they set up a government barracks in the courtyard and used the local garage as a makeshift prison. Here twelve cells were converted by concentration camp prisoners from Buchenwald. From here spying, searches, arrest, torture, and statements under duress were part of the practice of authority. Through the imposition of "protective custody" suspects would be admitted without evidence, prosecution and judgement indefinitely in a concentration camp. From May 1942, and headed the Gestapo oversaw the deportation of Jewish inhabitants of Weimar to extermination camps, the riding hall was used as a meeting place before entry to the freight depot. In 1942, the former riding hall (today the user room of the archive) served as a collection point for the transports of Jews to the extermination camps. Between 1945 and 1951 Soviet secret services used the former rooms of the Gestapo to house political prisoners. From July of that year the rooms were used for storage of files from the Provincial Archives; today it hosts the Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar
Home on Straßenseite of Fritz Sauckel the regional Kreisleiter, the political leader of the largest subdivision of the Gaue. During the war he was Reich defence commissioner for Kassel (Reichsverteidigungskommissar Wehrkreis IX) before being appointed General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz) on March 21, 1942, on the recommendation of Martin Bormann. He worked directly under Hitler through the Four-Year Plan Office, directing and controlling German labour. In response to increased demands, he met the requirement for manpower with people from the occupied territories. Voluntary numbers were insufficient and forced recruitment was introduced within a few months. Of the 5 million workers brought to Germany, around 200,000 came voluntarily. The majority of the acquired workers originated from the Eastern territories, where the methods used to gain workers were reportedly very harsh. At Nuremberg he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and together with a number of colleagues, he was hanged on October 16, 1946. His last words were recorded as "Ich sterbe unschuldig, mein Urteil ist ungerecht. Gott beschütze Deutschland!" (I die innocent, my sentence is unjust. God protect Germany!). Sauckel's sentence has been much the contentious subject among historians. Sauckel's ministerial responsibilities were part of Goering's "Four Year Plan" the so-called economic solution for greater Germany. The common misconception is that Albert Speer was his direct superior on account of his demands to meet the quota of foreign labourers in his munitions divisions when in fact Goering was effectively his direct superior. Whilst it's true that Speer inherited vital economic responsibility from Goering with his assumption as minister of armaments, but the policy of acquiring foreign labour was enabled by then armaments minister Fritz Todt and Hermann Goering. Moreover, the mistreatment of dragooned prisoners was ultimately left up to the discretion of the respective commandant of the division, not Sauckel who had expressly stated in a memorandum to his delegates of foreign labour that the men and women be treated accordingly with adequate care. In this sense the mistreatment of foreign labourers falls neither on Sauckel, nor on Speer for that matter.
Hermann Göring was instrumental in founding the Emmy-Göring-Stift für Bühnenveteranen (Emmy Goering Foundation for Stage Veterans), named for his actress wife who had retired upon her marriage to him to assist elderly performers. She he had been born Emma Sonnemann in Hamburg in 1893 to a wealthy salesman and eventually became an actress at the National Theatre here in Weimar. After marrying actor Karl Köstlin in Trieste in 1916 she took the name Emmy Köstlin until eventually divorcing a decade later. Through her marriage to Göring she took for herself the mantle of "First Lady of the Third Reich," creating bad blood between herself and Eva Braun whom she treated so badly that Hitler issued angry instructions to Göring demanding that Emmy treat Eva with more respect. After the war she found herself living in a tiny flat in Munich where she died in 1973 at the age of 80 and is now buried in Munich's Waldfriedhof. The Görings refurbished the the Marie Seebach House in Weimar in 1937 as an institution for aging actresses. Here shown in a 1942 postcard, it has been reverted back to the name Marie-Seebach-Stift.
Standing beside the Thälmann memorial and at its inauguration. This square up until 1945 was Watzdorfplatz, named after the Grand Ducal Minister Watzdorf. On its western side from 1878 was a monument to the heroes of the Franco-Prussian war and opposite it in 1938 the equestrian monument to Grand Duke Carl Alexander was relocated from Karlsplatz (Goetheplatz today). Both monuments were classified and demolished as "militaristic" in 1946. In the mid-1950s, the orphaned place gained new significance in the context of the DDR's commemoration policy. In 1953, the National Research and Memorial Sites of Classical German Literature (NFG) had already been installed in Weimar. The remembrance-political counterpart of the "classical" memorial sites was created in 1958 as Buchenwald National Remembrance and Memorial Site on the Ettersberg. It was now felt time to create a place within the city that was reminiscent of the concentration camp and thus here at the redesigned site was unveiled the statue of the former leader of the KPD, Ernst Thalmann, the most famous Buchenwald prisoner. In fact, the ϟϟ had Thalmann killed on August 18, 1944 as soon as he arrived from Bautzen. A "monument of the resistance movement" had been planned to cover the entire square but never realised. In its place, the first monument of the DDR was erected for Ernst Thälmann, Reichstag deputy and president of the German communist party, who was murdered in Buchenwald on Hitler's orders on August 18, 1944.
It was created by Dresden sculptor Walter Arnold and shows Thälmann as a militant speaker in his time as a politician of the Weimar Republic. On August 17, 1958, the statue was solemnly unveiled. The wall behind it bears the inscription: "Our socialist act is growing from your sacrificial death." Symptomatic of the anti-fascism of the DDR is the history of the memorial, as the memory of all the dead of the concentration camps disappeared behind the memory of communist heroes. Since 1991, the square bears the name Buchenwaldplatz. Only in the memory of the Communist prisoners and in the mythic history created by the DDR was "Comrade Thalmann" a "comrade" of the Buchenwald inmates. Even their terrible suffering and dying was later given a higher political meaning. With the line inscribed in the restriction of space, "Our socialist deed grows from your sacrificial death," the victims were made martyrs of anti-fascism and the dead of the concentration camp the "champions" of the "better Germany" of the DDR. The location of the square in Weimar's townscape recalls Richard Alewyn words, coined during the Goethe year of 1949: "Buchenwald lies between us and Weimar; that's why we can not get past."
On March 22, 1925, the annually celebrated anniversary of Goethe's death, Hitler made his first public speech in the writer's hometown. In the years that followed the Nazis became increasingly influential in Weimar, using the economic recovery for regional and national meetings and symbolically reoccupied the building in its spirit. Thus, Weimar helped stage Nazi propaganda, becoming a place to promote the idea of a national conservative literary memory. The largest political celebrations took place here from November 4-6, 1938 on the occasion of the tenth Gautages Thuringia. For this purpose as mentioned above, the 1818 equestrian statue of Grand Duke Carl Alexander on Karlsplatz (now Goetheplatz), from which the damaged pedestal can still be seen today as shown here, was specially removed and moved to today's Buchenwaldplatz in order to make room for Hitler's VIP box.  
In March 1932, the 100th anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was solemnised. From the political events of the day seemingly unaffected, celebrated it the "spirit of Weimar". Thomas Mann described his stay: "Quite strangely touched the mixing of Hitlerism and Goethe Weimar is indeed a centre of Hitlerism [...] The type of the young man who decided to indefinitely walked through the city and is greeted with the Roman salute.. , dominates the city. " The anniversary also marked the start of the planned expansion of the Goethe National Museum. In 1931, architect Heinrich Tessenowstraße was appointed. He had Schinkel's Neue Wache in Berlin turned into a Reich Memorial to the fallen of the First World War and was politically controversial. Wilhelm Frick, later Reich Minister of the Interior, described him as an "essentially foreign architect". Finally, the originally rejected designs of the late architect Walter Voigt came to execution. On the instructions of Hitler more than half of the required funds came from state finances. In the museum, a plaque with the inscription was made: "extension created by the generous support of leader Adolf Hitler in the third year of his reign inaugurated on Goethe's birthday, 1935."  

 Buchenwald KZ and Memorial
Buchenwald Concentration Camp was built in July 1937 in the direct vicinity of Weimar, the city of German Classicism. It was to this concentration camp on Ettersberg Mountain that the ϟϟ deported men, teenagers and children – political opponents to the Nazi regime, so-called asocials and criminals, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Sinti and Roma – who had no place in the National Socialist "people's community". Following the outbreak of the war, the Nazis sent people from nearly every country in Europe to Buchenwald. At the time of the camp’s liberation, ninety-five percent of its inmates were from countries outside Germany. Between 1937 and 1945, altogether more than 250,000 persons were imprisoned here. The inmates in the Buchenwald ”parent camp“ and its total of 136 subcamps were ruthlessly exploited. In 1944 the ϟϟ administration of Buchenwald took charge of camps in which women and girls were forced to work for the German armament industry. Some 56,000 human beings met their deaths in Buchenwald and its subcamps; they were killed, they starved to death, they died of illness or as victims of medical experiments. Many inmates, among them more than 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war, were systematically murdered by the ϟϟ
 I'm standing beside the entrance which served as the main watchtower; the wings housed detention cells (the Bunker) – where ϟϟ gaolers tortured and murdered inmates on behalf of the Gestapo and the camp commander – as well as offices of the ϟϟ camp command. The camp gate with the bizarre inscription Jedem das Seine (to each his own) formed the boundary between the ϟϟ area and the inmates' camp. All the concentration camps had slogans on their gates. Often it was Arbeit Macht Frei (Work makes you free). However, in Buchenwald, a labour (not a death) camp – although many thousands of people were worked to death or deliberately killed there – the Nazis chose the motto Jedem Das Seine (To Each What They Are Due). It was placed on the inside of the gate rather than the outside, so that every prisoner was reminded of it as they looked to the world outside.  The words are a powerful statement – and in this context a complete and provocative perversion of any notion of justice. They are the German translation of the Roman law maxim Suum cuique, incorporated not just into German law but legal systems across Europe. They are the title of a Bach cantata performed in Weimar, the city of Goethe and Schiller, just 10 miles from Buchenwald. And this gate, so close to Weimar, raises the unanswerable question of modern German history: how can these different components of the German story fit together? How could all these humane traditions of justice and scholarship, music and law – of a civilised society – all collapse in the Nazi abyss?  The Nazi authorities conscripted one of the inmates of the camp to design the words. Franz Ehrlich had been interned as a communist on trumped-up charges of treason. He had trained at the Bauhaus, the famous school of design, also in nearby Weimar, which was loathed by the Nazis for its internationalism and modernism. Ehrlich nonetheless used a beautiful Bauhaus typeface of the sort that the Nazis categorically disapproved of. Astonishingly, they didn't seem to notice. It is impossible not to read the sign as a quiet, profound protest. Ehrlich was compelled to design this hateful, callous motto, but he did it in a way that showed that another Germany, a humane, international Germany, survived. Using this typeface offered the hope that people, even in terrible circumstances, may sometimes find a way of asserting dignity.
What remains of the main administration building outside the main camp after the August 24, 1944 incendiary bombing. Buchenwald Concentration Camp was involved in the Nazi killing policies through the practise of inmate selection and deportation to Nazi extermination camps: Buchenwald was the point of departure for extermination transports of children and sick inmates to Auschwitz, and when the ϟϟ cleared the camps in the east in early 1945, many mass transports went to Buchenwald. Shortly before the end of the war, the ϟϟ attempted to ”evacuate“ Buchenwald Concentration Camp as well, and forced 28,000 inmates to set out on ”death marches“. When the Third American Army reached Buchenwald on 11 April 1945, the ϟϟ fled, and inmates of the secret resistance organisation opened the camp. Approximately 21,000 inmates, including more than 900 children and teenagers, were liberated.
In July 1945, when the American troops withdrew from Thuringia, Red Army units quickly took their place. The living conditions in Buchenwald Special Camp were extremely inhumane. Altogether, more than 7,100 persons died there. The dead were buried in mass graves to the north of the camp and in the vicinity of the Buchenwald railway station.
The Allies were slow to liberate the Little Camp. The stench was appalling. They found a number of children there when they finally braved it, including a three-year-old boy. The inmates died in large numbers even after the Americans began to feed them. The liberators learned that they could function only by repressing all emotion. On 16 April George Patton decided that the inhabitants of Weimar should know what had been happening on the Ettersberg. His men made a thousand or so inhabitants line up in the Paulinenstrasse and marched them off to the camp a kilometre away. Among them were some of the Nazi bigwigs of the city. American cameramen were on hand to film their reactions. The Americans wanted the full propaganda effect, and news of the site-inspection spread as far as Vienna. On the way to the camp there was much amused talk, particularly from the women and girls dressed for the occasion in their last finery. They showed no sign of knowing what to expect.
Their cheerful mood vanished when they saw the heaps of bodies covered with quick-lime. Women began to weep and faint. The men covered their faces and turned their heads away. Many of them huddled together for comfort. One of the inmates who had been spared Hitler’s order to murder the last inhabitants of the camp was Imre Kertész, the Hungarian writer, then aged fifteen. He remembered the scene: the Americans had given him some chewing gum, which he belaboured with his jaw while he gazed lazily from the typhus isolation huts to the mass graves in the distance.
MacDonogh (86-87)
 Before renovation and today

Jewish slave labourers at Buchenwald and the site today. Lying at the back on the lower bunk is Max Hamburger, who was left with tuberculosis and malnourishment through his experience in the camp, recovering and later becoming a psychiatrist in the Netherlands. Second row, seventh from left is the famed author Elie Wiesel who later recollected the day of Buchenwald's liberation on April 11, 1945:
Strangely, we did not "feel" the victory. There were no joyous embraces, no shouts or songs to mark our happiness, for that word was meaningless to us. We were not happy. We wondered whether we ever would be ... Yes, Hitler lost the war, but we didn't win it. We mourned too many dead to speak of victory.
At first, Buchenwald was created as a detention camp. There were three main areas, a large camp for the prisoners who were considered political dissidents; a small camp that was called a quarantine camp, and tented section for the prisoners arriving from Poland. As the War progressed, the inmates were forced to engage in the production of arms at the nearby Gustloff factory and at the quarries. The first prisoners were forced to take part in both the creation and the maintenance of their own systems of torture and oppression, building the road, the railway line and the extensive barracks, interrogation chambers and crematoria.
Unlike the other camps, Buchenwald was not a termination camp. It was a labour camp, if people died, it was because they could not withstand the terrible conditions of work, or because they tried to escape from the camp and were either torn to pieces by the guard dogs, or shot in the woods. Between 1937 and 1945, more than 250,000 of them were held prisoners, 50,000 of them died here.

Standing beside the site of the so-called Goethe oak, named by inmates in commemoration of Goethe’s frequent visits to the Ettersberg hill. In July 1937, the ϟϟ brought inmates from the camp at Sachsenhausen to clear 370 acres of forest above the town which, as the home of Goethe and his meeting place with Schiller, symbolises classical German culture. The Nazis spared one magnificent oak, known to be a favourite of Goethe and his love Charlotte von Stein, and made it the centre of a concentration camp built to imprison and work to death Hitler's opponents and victims.' The irony was not lost on people of the time. In May 1939, just before his death, the Austrian Jewish emigre novelist and journalist Joseph Roth devoted an article to the Goethe Oak declaring that "[s]ymbolism has never been as cheap as it is today. Between the laundry and the kitchen [in the camp] stands the oak tree of Madam von Stein and Goethe-and as such it is a protected historical monument. Every day the prisoners of this concentration camp pass by this oak tree, or rather: they are made to pass by it."

Destroyed by an Allied incendiary bomb on August 24, 1944 when it caught fire from flying sparks following the bombardment of the factory area, it was cut down although its stump remains today, preserved after being cast in concrete under the auspices of the East German government which also placed a plaque stating "Goethe Eiche." The tree had stood in the centre of the camp, where it apparently served for the hanging and torture of prisoners. For the ϟϟ and the prisoners the tree held two completely different meanings: for the ϟϟ it was a link to the Germany they thought they represented, but for the prisoners the tree pointed to a different Germany from the one they experienced in the camp. According to Amos Oz in The Amos Oz Reader (384), the incorporation of the oak in the camp and its subsequent destruction is evidence that the Nazis destroyed their own heritage, and camp survivor Ernst Wiechert recalled standing under the oak and reflecting on the two Germanies it represented—what later scholars would call the "Januskopfes Deutschland", the so-called Weimar-Buchenwald dichotomy. The building behind me served as the storehouse which today hosts the Concentration Camp exhibition whilst the laundry building shown in front in the period photo no longer remains.
The photo on the left shows ϟϟ-Ustuf Kurt Franz torturing inmates at Buchenwald whilst the photo I took on the right shows a replica on the site symbolising the means Nazis used to torture inmates; the cart would be used for the transport of stones from the quarry, and prisoners would hang by their wrists from the hanging post with their hands tied behind their backs. Behind can be seen the crematorium chimney.
Franz had worked as a cook in the euthanasia institutions in Grafeneck , Brandenburg , Hartheim and Sonnenstein as part of the T4 campaign and then as a deputy in the Reinhardt campaign and finally last camp commander of Treblinka extermination camp. In the Treblinka trial, Franz was sentenced to life imprisonment on September 3, 1965 for the joint murder of at least 300,000 people, for the murder in 35 cases of at least 139 people and for attempted murder. . The court charged him with "almost satanic cruelty", "extraordinarily great criminal energy" and "mercilessness towards the victims" when considering sentencing. regardless, Franz was released in 1993 after having been on day leave since the late 1970s, eventually dying in 1998 in a retirement home in Wuppertal.
Here in the crematorium courtyard, the citizens of Weimar were forced to be confronted by American soldiers with the corpses found in the camp. It was the first photo of the Buchenwald camp to be published. Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White was with General George Patton’s troops when they liberated the Buchenwald concentration camps. Forty-three thousand people had been murdered there. Patton was so outraged that he ordered his men to march German civilians through the camp so that they could see, with their own eyes, what really happened to innocent people in these horrible “death camps” and so they could see what their own nation had wrought. Bourke-White’s pictures carried the horrible images to the world. In America, the pictures proved that reports of the Nazi’s [sic] methodical extermination of the Jews were true, and the country began a long process of rethinking its behaviour, such as the decision not to bomb the camps. Bourke-White said, "I saw and photographed the piles of naked, lifeless bodies, the human skeletons in furnaces, the living skeletons who would die the next day... and tattooed skin for lampshades. Using the camera was almost a relief. It interposed a slight barrier between myself and the horror in front of me." LIFE published in their May 7, 1945 issue many photographs of these atrocities, saying, "Dead men will have indeed died in vain if live men refuse to look at them."
Landsberg, Alison. "America, the Holocaust, and the Mass Culture of Memory: Toward a Radical Politics of Empathy." New German Critique 71 (1997): 63-86.
During the liberation of Buchenwald on April 16, 1945. The crematorium, which was completed in 1940, had a dissecting room and a pathology for breaking out gold teeth next to the combustion room in the cellar. The first incinerators were supplied by the Topf & Söhne company in Erfurt in December 1939. By the spring of 1941, more ovens had been delivered and installed by the company. Many inmates were executed at the wall hooks in the basement of the crematorium. As one of the most prominent victims here on the night of August 17 to 18, 1944 the KPD leader Ernst Thalmann was shot at the entrance to the furnace room on the direct orders of Hitler.
Prisoners were treated by inmates in the inmate hospital. However, trained doctors were forbidden to practice. The infirmary was the central place of murder by lethal injection by ϟϟ doctors. But it was also a place of internal camp resistance, which included the labour statistics. This was part of the camp administration and was of particular concern of the inmates. Here it was possible for the resistance to change the lists for labour assignments and transports to extermination camps. The dissection room of the pathology department in the crematorium annex. The original photo is in an album Camp Commander Hermann Pister had compiled in late 1943. It was here that the corpses were collected. In two dissection rooms, inmates were forced to remove everything of value from the corpses, which were considered Reich property: gold fillings were broken out of their jaws for the Reich treasury, anatomical specimens taken for universities. One Buchenwald specialty was the production of macabre articles which the ϟϟ produced as gifts: human skin, preferably tattooed, was cut from the corpses, tanned and employed to make items of everyday use. Photos of American soldiers showing lampshades and shrunken heads to the citizens of Weimar on April 16, 1945 as evidence of the crimes committed in Buchenwald went around the world.
These metal posts are not commemorating what the Germans did to their prisoners, but rather to Germans killed by Soviets who had taken over the running of the KZ after the liberation of the concentration camp when the Soviet military administration took over the camp and used it from 1945 to 1950 under the name "special camp No. 2" as an internment camp. In November 1945, an "isolator" was set up with completely dark single cells. On Christmas Day 1945, all the prisoners were struck off the bread rations.  Altogether about 28,000 people were imprisoned in the special Buchenwald camp, of which about a thousand were women, as well as some children born in Buchenwald and other camps. Eventually more than 7,000 people died through inhumane conditions, especially by completely inadequate nutrition and untreated secondary diseases such as dystrophy, dysentery, tuberculosis and typhus and were buried in mass graves on the edge of the camp. In 1989 the public learned of the existence of anonymous Soviet special camp graves in areas adjacent to the camp grounds. These graveyards, located to the north of the camp and in the vicinity of the railway station, were then marked with steel stelae and landscaped as forest cemeteries.  The small mass graves found in the forest are spread over two cemeteries, one with 850, the other 250 with metal stelae, so that each stele represents about five to seven deaths, the average daily death toll during the entire time of the special camp. Near the stelae, an exhibition building with exhibits for the special camp No. 2 was erected. According to the Stalinist rule of terror against dissenters, more and more social democrats, peasants, "Junker" and other alleged or actual opponents of the developing SED regime were interned in the period from 1945 to 1950, including so-called bourgeois outcasts who were to be eliminated for the purpose of enforcing the workers 'and peasants' state.
This railway line was built by inmates in 1943 for the armament plants next to the camp and by the following year brought people from all of the many German-occupied countries to Buchenwald Concentration Camp and from there to labour sites in the sub-camps.
This part of the old railway line has been visible again since 2007 through the "Buchenwaldbahn memorial path" which begins shortly after the "blood road" and ends at the loading dock of the concentration camp, next to the former Gustloff works. It has a length of just under three miles.
The zoo area for ϟϟ staff. The zoo at Buchenwald was within the administrative part of the camp, although the prisoners would have been able to see some of it as can be seen in my photo. Its purpose was for the the amusement of the ϟϟ officials, as was the facilities provided for horse riding. It also acted a showplace for when higher Nazi officials, such as Himmler, came to the camp.
Rise in far-Right visits to former Nazi concentration camps...

Buchenwald Memorial
This memorial was built between 1954 and 1958 based on the motto "By dying and fighting to victory"and intends that the visitor should be shown away from death. The entire monumental structure is in the form of socialist realism. From the entrance gate, a staircase flanked by seven stelae symbolising the seven years of existence of the concentration camp leads down the hill. On the back of the stelae are texts by Johannes R. Becher. At the bottom of the stairs are funeral funers. Shortly before the liberation of the concentration camp in 1945, the ϟϟ had about 3,000 dead buried in these depressions. A wide paved staircase leads to the bell tower Tower of Liberty. Inside the tower is a bronze plate, under the earth and ashes from other concentration camps lie. According to Adam McNeil, "the Buchenwald memorial complex failed on all counts to represent the past...  communists replaced Jews as the primary victims of Nazi mass murder, ideologically produced myth of heroic communist resistance obscured the uncomfortable past. By juxtaposing itself to the previous regime the East German state sought to boost its legitimacy. .. The DDR’s Buchenwald memorial complex dually failed to represent the past: it failed to accurately portray historical truth, and it substituted the transmission of traumatic memory for romanticised fabrications. Furthermore the destruction of most original architecture (probably to erase the evidence of postwar Soviet atrocities in the site) eradicated Buchenwald’s historical authenticity, without any resulting representative benefits as previously outlined."
In front of the bell tower stands a group of figures designed by Fritz Cremer in collaboration with Bertolt Brecht in honour of the resistance struggle in the camp. When Brecht was asked by Cremer for advice on the design of the memorial, Brecht suggested erecting "an uneven number of giant men, liberated prisoners facing southwest [the direction of the Federal Republic] in the direction of the as yet not liberated regions. It was cast from 1957-1958 in the art foundry Lauchhammercast in bronze and restored in 2002-2005; I'm standing inset beside a working model in the German History Museum in Berlin. In their conception, the group of figures is based directly on "The Citizens of Calais" by Auguste Rodin and was the first German monument to the victims of fascism. The centerpiece of the memorial, Die befreiten Haftlinge (The liberated prisoners), depicting a boy and ten men, one of them carrying a gun and another waving a flag. There was little room in this history for the varied individual lives of either prisoners or guards. There was little room for the experience of Buchenwald. This was nowhere more apparent than in the way in which the site of the Buchenwald memorial, more than a kilometre removed from where the concentration camp had been, was privileged over the site of the actual camp. All barracks were pulled down; in fact, initially plans existed to reforest the area of the camp.
The DDR’s Buchenwald memorial complex dually failed to accurately portray historical truth, and it substituted the transmission of traumatic memory for romanticised fabrications. Furthermore the destruction of most original architecture (probably to erase the evidence of postwar Soviet atrocities in the site) eradicated Buchenwald’s historical authenticity, without any resulting representative benefits as previously outlined.
The so-called Straße der Nationen (Avenue of Nations), the construction of which got under way in 1954 as per DDR government resolution. By 1958, a monumental national monument had been erected on the southern slope of the Ettersberg. Three large mass graves were incorporated into the design.
The facility was based on a didactic concept intended to guide the visitor on a path from death to life: leading through the camp from the crematorium, the path continues down to the graves and finally uphill again to the bell tower, a symbol of freedom and light.
Until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the exhibit at the Buchenwald museum told almost exclusively of the underground political organisation in the camp and the role of the Soviet army in the fight against National Socialism.' Visitors (four hundred thousand a year during the time of the DDR) learned that the SED regime was born of the heroic activities of political resisters in the camp-the original and true victims of the Nazi persecution. Only leaders of the Left received significant mention as individuals. At the courtyard of the crematorium, a bronze column and a plaque indicated that Ernst Thalmann, the German Communist Party leader who became the principal hero of the DDR, was murdered there. Other victims of Nazi state terror (Jews, homosexuals, Christians, conservative resisters, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies) remained in the background. In East Germany's interpretation of history, the Third Reich had waged a class war to enslave the working class and destroy Communism and the Soviet Union in the interest of German capital; the systematic murder of the Jews was considered a secondary consequence of the Nazis' repression of the Communist resistance.
Nearby is the Ettersberg Cemetery which was landscaped in 1996 with the graves marked with name plaques. Even after the liberation of the concentration camp, inmates continued to die as a result of the conditions of their imprisonment. When Weimar applied in 1993 for the title of 'European City of Culture,' they included a comparatively detailed reference to the concentration camp: 
Ever since Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp, was built on Ettersberg -almost within view of the sites of German classicism—the name of the city has become linked with the darkest hours of Germany's history and the betrayal of the humanistic ideals and values, conceived in Weimar. This was a disgraceful injustice which had an infamous sequel, when the Soviets ran their own detention camp on the same site from 1946-1952 [sic]. Therefore, Weimar is quite possibly unique in representing the fateful ambivalence and the Janus-faced character of German history. Like no other place, Weimar raises the question of whether a humanistic culture is strong enough to resist all forms of political barbarism. In a time of newly arising antagonisms in Europe, of political fundamentalism and national egotism, Weimar presents itself as a place of calm reflection and thoughtfulness, and as a source of humanitarian visions for the next millennium.
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