The Buchenwald camp was constructed in 1937 in a wooded area on the northern slopes of the Ettersberg, about five miles northwest of Weimar in east-central Germany. Most of the early prisoners at Buchenwald were political prisoners, and Jews. In 1938, in the aftermath of Kristallnacht, almost 10,000 Jews were brought to Buchenwald where they were treated horrible. Between 1938 and 1939 approximately 600 prisoners died at the Buchenwald camp. In 1941, involuntary medical experiments took place at Buchenwald. The medical experiments included viruses and contagious diseases such as typhus and resulted in hundreds of deaths. In 1944, SS Dr. Carl Vaernet started a series of experiments. He actually claimed they would “cure” homosexual inmates.
By 1945 their were approximately 110,000 prisoners at the Buchenwald camp. This camp became an important source of labored force. The prisoners were used in the German Equipment Works (DAW). The prisoners were required to work in camp workshops and in the camp's stone quarry. In March 1943, the Gustloff firm opened a large munitions plant in the eastern part of the Buchenwald camp. Their were 87 subcamps that were run by Buchenwald. They were located across Germany, from Duesseldorf in the Rhineland to the border with the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in the east. The prisoners at these satellite camps were put to work at armaments factories, in stone quarries, and on construction projects. Occasionally the prisoners throughout the Buchenwald camp system underwent selection and the SS staff sent those too weak or disabled to continue working to the Bernburg or Sonnenstein euthanasia killing centers. where they were killed by gas. Some of the weakened prisoners were killed by phenol injections that were administered by the camp doctor.
As Soviet forces entered Poland, the Germans began to evacuated thousands of concentration camp prisoners from western Poland. More than 10,000 weak and exhausted prisoners from Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen arrived in Buchenwald in January 1945. In April 1945, as American forces approached the camp, the Germans began to evacuate some 28,000 prisoners from the main camp and an additional 10,000 prisoners from the subcamps of Buchenwald. The prisoners were required to march long distances and many died. On April 11, 1945, starved prisoners stormed the watchtowers and took control of the camp. Later that afternoon, the Third U.S. Army division Army entered the Buchenwald camp and found more than 20,000 people in the camp. Approximately 4,000 of these prisoners were Jews. Approximately 56,000 people were murdered in the Buchenwald camp system.
"Buchenwald Concentration Camp: History & Overview." Buchenwald Concentration Camp: History & Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/buchenwald.html>.
"Buchenwald Concentration Camp Http://www.HolocaustResearchProject.org." Buchenwald Concentration Camp Http://www.HolocaustResearchProject.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/buchenwald.html>..