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Review of Buchenwald

Ranked #13 of 543 things to do in Thuringia
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This concentration camp is a powerful reminder of the horrors of Hitler's Germany.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

It is such a lovely forest area. Idyllic. Looks almost like the best summer camp site you could have. Yet of course it was a concentration camp where thousands of people were tortured and killed........

4  Thank robert43041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 53 of 189 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2013

How a world could have let this happen. A lot of the camp is now no longer there, but enough of the remnants remain to impress upon you the sheer barbarity of what went on here. The permanent exhibition also contains a lot. The audio guides are a must. The free entrance and the work they do with school groups is impressive. Very hard. Be prepared.

5  Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Buchenwald is 20 minutes by bus from Weimar, Germany. It is a tree lined route out of the city and continues up into the beauty of a forest and a lovely view of a green and fertile valley. This was more horrifying to me than Auschwitz or Sachsenhausen only because the victims had to have seen the beauty of the place as well locked within it's unyielding cruel walls. The reception desk employees were helpful kind and very patience as I was emotional although I am sure they have experienced that before. "Yes, you can walk anywhere", they politely said, "Yes you can leave your flowers anywhere". I suggest you purchase the iPod auditory guide which is very helpful if not a little chilling. Everything about Buchenwald suggests extreme organization and dedication of perfection in the retention, humiliation and murder of thousands upon thousands of men, women and children. The remains of a zoo are particularly horrific as SS officers and their wives and children would visit the still remaining bear enclosure within 20 meters of the electric fence which enclosed human beings. How could they feed the bears and ignore obviously starving people? This to me is more horrible than any image I can understand. The pure indifference of this gesture played out for over 10 years haunts me.
Buchenwald was not originally designed as a killing center like Auschwitz or others. It was meant as a detention center and prison for political dissidents and the surrounding Jewish population. My grandmother's best friend was Jewish but she was arrested in Berlin as a student activist and transferred to Buchenwald for "re-education". She was tortured to death on a tile examining table that still exists. This is where I laid the 22 white roses one for every year of her life. I stood there for 30 minutes. My legs wouldn't work. it is so ordinary, efficient, plain.
The museum where the chronology of the horror of Buchenwald is brilliantly displayed is so well designed and informative as to be almost art. There is a long glass display of nothing but buttons. Beautiful, colourful, white and simple all kinds of buttons removed from the clothing of a million human beings. It is unbelievably moving and, at the same instance, mind numbing.
This is a place where every person should make the pilgrimage to. This trip was quite possible more meaningful to me than any other I have taken. Of course I had personal reasons but I know that any kind and caring person would find Buchenwald a valuable experience. Please avail yourself and your family of this memorial,

7  Thank caidy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Like I said, given what went on here it's kind of messed up to say that visiting the camp was a "great" experience, but it really was-- I'll never forget it. I've read other reviews that say all the signs are in German-- either they missed something or the camp has recently been updated, because almost everything had English (as well as French and Russian....at least I think it was Russian...) translations. We didn't even bother with the audio tour; we just wandered at our own pace and took it all in. I'd also read that the place was inappropriate for kids-- I'd have to disagree with that too. I took my 3 boys (ages 8, 6, and 3), and while I don't think they fully understood what they were looking at, I hope they remember the experience once they are old enough to study the Holocaust. Granted, I didn't let them go in the crematorium, but other than that there were no displays that were overly graphic; I'd definitely say if you're traveling with kids, don't let that stop you from visiting.

As you drive to the camp, drive slowly so you can take in the "Blood Road" (section of the road built by inmates) and the railroad bed from the original tracks that brought thousands of people to the camp. Also take the time to visit the back section of the camp, where Russian prisoners were held after the Jewish prisoners were liberated. To me, this was one of the saddest parts of the camp; what happened to the Jews was horrible and definitely deserves to be honored and remembered, but these poor Russians were just thrown out in the woods and no one even knew they were there until around 1989....they deserve some recognition, too.

Again, horrible, sad, and tough to see-- but also one of the most memorable experiences you'll ever have.

5  Thank badcarissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I'll begin by saying that I have visited Dachau twice, once when it was sunny and another time in the pouring rain on a cold March day. The conditions of your visit make a vast difference in the experience and being at Buchenwald during a freezing day in December is an equally chilling and memorable experience. Buchenwald has a bit less to see since there is no barracks, and while there is a museum in the depot there is hardly any English in the building (which surprised me).

I would still recommend visiting, but be sure to understand what you are getting if this is your only concentration camp stop or you are pairing it with other sites.

3  Thank xHypex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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