the outlandish stairway and the camp of horrors behind

Outer original dreadful looming fence of the Memorial Site of the KZ-Buchenwald, Weimar, Germany

…on a walk on the early spring-green beech woods of the central Thuringian forest an outlandish stairway stands suddently on the path for no apparent reason. Left and right posts of what used to be a very peculiar fence stand. A story of the Buchenwald concentration camp unfolds.

Triggered by chance, the overcast dark gray hues set a somber mood as the woods give way to a wind beaten clearance. The fences now very real and unmistakable on their former purpose. A few scattered souls behind them wandering at a heavy pace

Past the entrance with its foundry-cast words over the iron gate “Jedem das Seine”, a field of desolation rolls slightly downhill to the north. Now empty of tens of thousands of bare hopeless feet standing in rows at roll call, day after day. The lay-out of the former blocks lays imprinted in the earth. Not even a memory of what happened in the northeast edge of the Buchenwald concentration camp is left in the ground for next generations, because it is too monstruous to be left there.

The Crematory and its court are standing at a corner of the camp behing a darkened wood fence. What Patton saw in there we cannot see today, but from photographs and reports of american and british journalists urgently summoned to that spot after the liberation.

Jewish polish children were found inside an inbound train wagon stuffed with 200 mostly frozen corpses. Those had to be axed out of the wagon onto the platforms. They children were set on a human hunt along the road to the camp for the sport of the SS-Guards. Dogs and bullets marked their end.


Recalled details are taken from the permanent exhibition on the history of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial and the book “The Cattle Truck” by Jorge Semprún.

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: