- Located north of Weimar, Buchenwald was founded in July 1937. The camp was initially used to incarcerate political prisoners, but subsequently the Nazis added “asocials” to the camp mix. Following Kristallnacht on 9–10 November 1938, about 10,000 Jews were incarcerated, but most were released by the end of the month. Buchenwald was used by the Germans, prior to the outbreak of the war in September 1939, to terrorize Jews into leaving the country. In October 1942, the incarcerated Jews in Buchenwald were transferred to Auschwitz. When the Germans commenced the dismantlement of Auschwitz in January 1945, thousands of Jews were moved to Buchenwald, where many of them were used in medical experiments. The Germans began to evacuate the camp in April 1945, but of the 28,250 prisoners designated for removal from the main camp, between 7,000 and 8,000 were either killed or died by some other means. On April 11, approximately 21,000 prisoners, including 4,000 Jews, were liberated by American forces.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.