Phone: +49 (0)3643 430 200
Fax: +49 (0)3643 430 102
The registration form is available here.
Overview tours (approx. 1 1/2 hours; recommended for the first visit)
This tour commences at the visitor registration desk, and proceeds past Caracho Path, the camp gate, and the former roll call square. Following a brief lecture on the history of the camp, which is depicted by way of a scale-model of the camp, the tour concludes with a viewing of the camp's crematorium. We recommend that high school students view the introductory film on the memorial and participate in a guided tour of the permanent exhibition focussed on the history of the concentration camp prior to touring the memorial grounds. Our programming for groups is primarily directed at high school students (grades 9 and up), youth groups and young adults who have prepared for the visit either during classroom instruction, or as part of a political education programme. The minimum age for participation is 15; group size should range between 15 and 30 persons. Tours in languages other than German are offered on a limited basis. We recommend that groups allow at least three hours for an overview tour followed by a visit to the museum.
Detailed tours of the grounds (approx. 2 1/2 hours)
Detailed tours focus either on topics of particular interest within the history of the concentration camp (for example, the Buchenwald Railway Memorial Path, forced labour, perpetrators, etc.) or topics related to the memorial as such, including issues related to memory and commemoration.
Optional multimedia guides (for iPod nano and iPod touch) are available for use during independent tours of the memorial. While both versions include additional information regarding the history of the site, the version designed for use with the iPod touch also includes a display featuring corresponding historical images. The iPod tour is available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and Dutch. The iPod touch (with image display) is available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch. These multimedia devices can be obtained at the visitor information centre.
Commemorative Buchenwald Railway Path
On 15 July 2007, the Commemorative Buchenwald Railway Path was inaugurated within the framework of the memorial service held on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the camp's establishment.
The commemorative path begins on “Blood Road” approximately 100 metres past the obelisk, and ends at Buchenwald Station. It was laid out on the initiative of the “Projekt Spurensuche” carried out by the “Gerberstrasse 1” association and with support from the City of Weimar, Buchenwald Memorial and the Förderverein Buchenwald e.V. association.In the spring of 1943, the SS forced concentration camp inmates to build the ten-kilometre stretch of track between Weimar-Schöndorf and Buchenwald within a mere three months. The line initially served the supply needs of the armament factory.
Beginning in 1944, inmates – about one hundred thousand in all – were also transported on these tracks, many of them in open freight cars. Boys and men were brought to Buchenwald Concentration Camp from all over Europe and transferred from here to one of the subcamps for forced labour. Buchenwald Station was also the point of departure for extermination transports taking children and sick inmates to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. When the SS evacuated the camps in the East in January and February 1945, mass transports were sent to Buchenwald. Many of the inmates were already dead upon arrival or died shortly thereafter.
Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe staged Iphigenia in Tauris at Ettersburg Castle – a former summer residence of the dukes of Weimar –, and Friedrich Schiller completed his drama Mary Stuart here. In 1937, the concentration camp architects used an old ducal hunting lane as an orientation for the camp fence. The “Time Lane” is physical testimony to this direct adjacency, and connects Ettersburg Castle – a symbol of Weimar Classicism – with Buchenwald. It thus inspires reflection on the proximity of culture and barbarity.