Jews Slighted at Buchenwald Memorial

The impressive memorial of the former concentration camp of Buchenwald is situated on a hill overlooking large parts of Thuringia, including the town of Weimar and Erfurt, and large Soviet military bases just a few kilometers away.

It is well known for its famous Alle der Nationen, or Avenue of the Nations, in which all the peoples whose members had suffered here are suposed to be represented. All but the Jews-who have no avenue of their own here.

An East German official guide explained that, according to the thinking prevailing in East Germany, the Jews are parts of the nations in which they live, and do not necessarily form a nation of their own. He added that at the time when the killings in Buchenwald occurred, Israel did not exist, so there was no point in including it in the memorial.

However, he added, the Jewish victims of Buchenwald are being mentioned in a separate, small memorial not far from the Avenue of the Nations.

Further downhill there is a museum which puts an emphasis on “Communists and anti-Fascist” victims of the Nazis. The Jewish victims are only negligibly mentioned.

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