Soviet Special Camp No. 2, Buchenwald 1945–1950
Opened in 1997, the exhibition on the history of Soviet Special Camp No. 2 is in a new building situated across from the camp’s burial ground. The architecture and the grey colour used in the design express the sense of bleakness and isolation which permeated the camp, making the building itself an integral part of the exhibition.
Covering 300 square meters, the exhibition includes artefacts, documents and eyewitness accounts from the Special Camp and its political context. The history of the Special Camp is described on table displays, while the historical context is depicted on the adjacent wall partitions. Finally, a long display case looking out at the graveyard offers the biographies of seventeen individuals who were imprisoned at Special Camp No. 2.
The concrete wall is divided by an aperture that allows a view over the graveyard. In front of this aperture, which also bisects the row of biographies, the Book of the Dead is presented. A multimedia centre is located immediately opposite the concrete wall. Here, there are eight visitor stations, including two monitors on which two hours of material (eyewitness accounts and a glossary), written documentation, posters, and short videos can be viewed.
The exhibition is arranged chronologically and comprises four sections:
The Institutionalisation of the Special Camps in the Soviet Occupied Zone
The Construction of Soviet Special Camp No. 2 at Buchenwald
Living Conditions in the Camp
The Dissolution of the Special Camps. The Waldheim Prison and the "Waldheim Trials"