The permanent exhibition on the history of Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens in the former depot. The department responsible for the collection and restoration of the found objects is located on the upper floor of the depot.
Dedication of the memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims. On a small elevation, black basalt steles mark the site of the former block no. 14, the so-called gypsy block. They bear the names of other concentration and extermination camps. The inscription appears in English, German and Romani and reads:
In memory of the Sinti and Roma victims of Nazi Holocaust
(Design: Daniel Plaas)
Dedication of a memorial commemorating all of the victims of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. A plain metal plaque, engraved with the acronym "K. L. B." as well as the names of more than fifty victim groups in alphabetical order, is inserted in the ground. The middle section is kept at 37° C, the temperature of the human body. (Design: Horst Hoheisel and Andreas Knitz)The memorial marks the site where inmate survivors erected a wooden obelisk – the first memorial to the camp victims – shortly after liberation. At a memorial service held on 19 April 1945 they commemorated their dead comrades and swore the "Oath of Buchenwald".
Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp:
- Memorial service of the Free State of Thuringia in the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar
- Memorial service of the International Committee of Buchenwald-Dora and Subcamps on the former muster ground
- Ecumenical worship service at the former railway station
- Kaddish at the Jewish memorial
- Opening of an exhibition with works by Walter Spitzer and dedication of the sculpture Muselmann
- Encounters with former inmates
Turn of the year
The cemetery on the Ettersberg (within the GDR memorial complex) is newly landscaped. The rows of graves hold the bodies of more than 400 former concentration camp inmates who died at the camp after liberation as a result of their imprisonment. The graves are furnished with name plaques which are unveiled within the framework of a memorial service on 14 April. The graveyard of Soviet Special Camp No. 2 is landscaped as a forest cemetery and the anonymous mass graves are marked with steel steles. Opposite the graveyard, where the majority of the persons who died in the Soviet camp are buried, a new exhibition building is constructed for the documentation of Soviet Special Camp No. 2.
The conversion of the former SS staff building (which had served as a hotel in the GDR era) to serve as the memorial’s administration building is concluded for the most part. The ground floor accommodates the directors’ offices, the administration and the press and public relations department as well as two conference rooms, the first upper floor the historical department, archive and library with users’ rooms. The former administration building is converted to serve as a young people’s centre.
The visitor numbers increase steadily from 1995 onwards. The education programme is expanded. Especially for school groups, one-day programmes are developed encompassing not only general and thematic guided tours but also opportunities for more in-depth inquiry into the history of the site. Work rooms are set up in the former command headquarters for this purpose. Young volunteers from various countries work at the memorial.Under specialized supervision, work camps and youth groups help with archaeological excavations within the framework of educational projects. In former rubbish dumps they unearth countless objects once belonging to inmates: vessels for food and drink, eating utensils, supposedly worthless objects such as buttons, the remains of shoes and glasses, toothbrushes hardly recognizable as such and more, but also handcrafted jewellery or cult objects. Many of these items are on view in the exhibition on the history of the concentration camp.
Restoration and redesign of the detention cell building
On the 52nd anniversary of the liberation, the memorial invites guests to a service in commemoration of the inmates of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, followed by a tour of the camp grounds. The memorial tour has taken place every year since then.
In the process of restoring the crematorium, 701 urns containing human ashes and bearing lids with embossed names are found. In August, the ashes are buried at Ettersberg Cemetery within the framework of an interdenominational service. The Serbian diplomat, writer and Buchenwald survivor Ivan Ivanji speaks on the occasion.
The permanent exhibition on the history of Soviet Special Camp No. 2 Buchenwald 1945–1950 opens in the newly constructed exhibition building.
The former disinfection station is restored and equipped to meet modern art museum standards. The permanent art exhibition "Means of Survival, Testimony, Artwork, Visual Memory" opens there. The show presents artworks executed in Buchenwald Concentration Camp between 1937 and 1945, and works created by survivors and members of younger generations between 1945 and 1995.
New introductory film for memorial visitors: "KZ Buchenwald. Post Weimar" by Margit Eschenbach. It provides insights into the history of and everyday life in Buchenwald Concentration camp on the basis of contemporary documents (Nazi propaganda films, scenes of the camp, films and photos – some hardly known to the public – from the period following liberation) and three survivors’ reports.
Opening of the International Young People’s Centre. Over the previous two years, the former SS casern which had served as the memorial administration building for a time has been converted into a modern conference and communication centre with conference and work rooms, lounges and a kitchen of its own. It is available for use above all by youth groups, teachers, organizations and other interested parties for seminars and projects.
"Vom Antlitz zur Maske. Wien – Weimar – Buchenwald 1939"/"Gezeichneter Ort. Goetheblicke auf Weimar und Thüringen" ("From Countenance to Mask: Vienna – Weimar – Buchenwald 1939"/"A Drawn Place: Goethe’s Views of Weimar and Thuringia"): a double exhibition of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials foundation and the Stiftung Weimarer Klassik in cooperation with the 1999 Kulturstadt Europas GmbH and the department of archaeological biology and anthropology of the Naturhistorisches Museums in Vienna. The exhibition at the Schillermuseum Weimar shows the records, photos and masks made of 440 Jews by an "Anthropological Commission" in Vienna in 1939. The subjects were subsequently deported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where nearly all of them died.
"Leben – Terror – Geist. KZ Buchenwald: Porträts von lntellektuellen und Künstlern" ("Life – Terror – Mind: Buchenwald Concentration Camp: Portraits of Intellectuals and Artists").
This exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Weimar 1999 Kulturstadt Europas GmbH. It presents the life and work of seventy-three former inmates – representative of many others – who, for all the diversity of their origins, their convictions and their life journeys, have one thing in common: their imprisonment in Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Dedication of a memorial site for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Friedrich von Rabenau and Ludwig Gehre. Starting in 1990, work camp participants have exposed an SS detention cellar on the overgrown casern grounds adjacent to the quarry. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and members of the conspiracy against Hitler (20 July 1944) were imprisoned there from early 1945 until their transport to Flossenbürg for extermination.
The permanent exhibition on the history of Buchenwald Memorial opens.
A building of the 1970s which had originally been part of the GDR memorial complex has been converted and expanded to house the exhibition. With the aid of documents, photos, objects and models presented on an area of approximately 300 square metres, the exhibition shows how the history of the concentration camp was commemorated in the GDR.<