Additional information

Digital Photo Archive
Scenes of the liberated camp taken by U.S. Army photographers can be found here.

Introductory film
To order the DVD "KZ Buchenwald/Post Weimar" with U.S. Army film footage of the liberated camp, click  here.


Radio report of 1945
CBS report by Edward R. Murrow of 17 April 1945 (in English): MP3 (10:41 Min.)


Democratic Socialists Manifesto
PDF (2.3 MB) German Version

Oath of Buchenwald
PDF (538 KB) German Version

U.S. soldiers and former inmates in front of a lorry trailer loaded with corpses in the inner courtyard of the crematorium. Photo: Ardean R. Miller, U.S. Signal Corps, April 18, 1945, National Archives, Washington

1945 - After the liberation

11 April

The 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th U.S. Armored Division reaches the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the SS flee, inmates of the camp resistance occupy the towers and take charge of the order and administration of the camp. 21,000 inmates have lived to see their liberation and the arrival of the U.S. Army.
Between the beginning of the year and 11 April 194515,000 persons have died in the Buchenwald concentration camp. After the liberation, hundreds more perish from the consequences of their imprisonment. There are no records of the deaths that have taken place on the evacuation transports and marches. Their number is estimated at between 12,000 and 15,000.

13 April

At a gathering of German and Austrian Social Democrats also attended by French, Polish, Belgian, Czech, Danish and Dutch Socialists, Hermann L. Brill reads the "Manifesto of the Democratic Socialists of the Former Buchenwald Concentration Camp". The most significant programmatic document drawn up in the camp following liberation, it contains fundamental demands for the building of a free, democratic Germany.

16 April

By order of the American town major, 1,000 citizens of Weimar tour the camp, in which traces of the mass deaths and the atrocities committed are still visible for all to see.

19 April

A memorial service is held for those who have died in the camp. The survivors make a pledge that later becomes known as the "Oath of Buchenwald".

End of April

Every day, delegations of Allied politicians, journalists and investigators arrive at the camp to see it for themselves and report on it first-hand.

May to August

The survivors leave the camp in groups. Buchenwald serves temporarily as an assembly camp for "displaced persons" from other camps in the process of organizing their journey home or their emigration.


The camp is turned over to the Soviet military administration. The so-called "Special Camp No. 2" is established at Buchenwald.