Weimar and Buchenwald
For us Germans, Weimar means Goethe, Schiller, German classical high culture. In contrast, Buchenwald describes the bestial rule of the totalitarian Nazi regime. Only ten kilometres lie between the centre of Weimar, the city of poets and thinkers, and the Buchenwald concentration camp, which was built on the Ettersberg in 1937. The Buchenwald concentration camp is one of the largest camps in the Third Reich. Almost 280,000 people from over 50 nations were imprisoned in Buchenwald over the 8 years of its existence. About 21,000 prisoners were liberated by the US troops on April 11, 1945.
It is not plausible that the citizens of the small Thuringian town of Weimar knew nothing of the existence of the camp. Could they have guessed the conditions? Shortly before the end of the Nazi regime with almost certainty. After bombing raids, concentration camp prisoners were used to clean up the middle of the city. And in the weeks before the liberation of the camp, thousands of prisoners had been driven on death marches to clear the camp at the last minute. This could not have remained hidden from the population.