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Countdown to liberation

Daily entries in the #otd1945 online project illuminate the last months of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps

To start the year, the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation has launched a new online portal at liberation.buchenwald.de (also available at liberation.dora.de) which supports the memory and commemoration of the liberation of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps 76 years ago and enriches it with entirely new knowledge formats. In the months leading up to 11 April—the date on which the two camps were liberated—the portal will offer diverse content ranging from historical background information to current programme items, including an opportunity to participate virtually in the main ceremonies for the 76th anniversary of the liberation in April 2021.

The blog #otd1945 (“on this day 1945”) was launched on 1 January. Each day it describes individual events from 76 years ago from the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps and surrounding area. These snapshots reveal what happened day by day in 1945 leading up to the liberation of the camps and afterwards. The last months of the war saw a further escalation of the terror and violence perpetrated by Germans, even though Germany’s defeat was apparent on all fronts by early 1945 at the latest. Many concentration camp prisoners had been hoping for imminent liberation ever since, but the murders in the camps and at forced labour sites did not let up. Only the arrival of Allied troops brought an end to the crimes.

The blog #otd1945 is the first feature on the portal at liberation.buchenwald.de [liberation.dora.de]. The daily historical updates are being accompanied by a campaign using the eponymous hashtag #otd1945 through the Twitter account of the @Buchenwald_Dora Foundation.