It was considered the worst of all Nazi concentration camps. Located high on a hill above the beautiful historic city of Weimar – the “cultural capital of Germany” – the Buchenwald camp was a place of horror from 1937 to 1945.
It was a place where tens of thousands of slaves worked until they died, where medical experiments were carried out on living prisoners, where Ilse Koch, the commander’s wife, is said to have ordered household items, such as lampshades, made from the skin of tattooed inmates.
When American forces stumbled upon Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, soldiers could not comprehend what they saw – over 20,000 sick, starving souls barely able to stand. The scenes uncovered by the Yanks were so gruesome that General George S. Patton ordered 1,000 citizens of Weimar to tour the camp and see what the Nazi government had hidden from them for eight years.
The story of Buchenwald and his liberation will be presented in a Coffee & Conversation talk Saturday at 10 a.m. by Flint Whitlock, award-winning author of three books about the camp, 2021 inductee into the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame and member of the Board of administration of the Veterans Museum Broomfield. The presentation is not recommended for children.
As part of his research on the Buchenwald trilogy, Whitlock visited the camp – which is now the largest memorial in the world dedicated to the victims of Nazism – half a dozen times and interviewed numerous ex-convicts and liberators.
The Veterans Museum Broomfield is located at 12 Garden Center on Midway Boulevard, approximately 400 yards east of Wadsworth Boulevard. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free entry.
For more information, call the museum at (303) 460-6801.