Savez antifašističkih boraca
i antifašista Republike Hrvatske

Buchenwald concentration camp (CC) was established 85 years ago

On July 15, 1937, the first 149 prisoners were deported from CC Sachsenhausen to the Ettersberg near Weimar to establish what would later become CC Buchenwald. On that day, the camp consisted of a barrack in the middle of the Ettersburg State Forest. Guards from the CC Lichtenburg had set it up. Over the next five weeks, almost 2,000 prisoners arrived from the Sachsenburg and Lichtenburg camps, including a large number of political prisoners. 1937, the total number of prisoners brought in was 2912 men, of whom 53 had already died on January 1, 1938.
The first prisoners had to clear the forest, lay sewers and power lines, build roads, barracks, residential buildings, garages and a barracks camp. This period of construction was particularly cruel. In 14 to 16 hours of hard physical labor every day, under constant danger of punishment from SS men, the camp and its SS quarters, administrative buildings and villas for the higher SS officers, roads, district heating plants, the camp fence with its 23 watchtowers, and factories were built on this mountain near Weimar in just under two years. Despite the rush and the endless working hours, hardly any technical aids were used.
When it became known in the city of Weimar that the new concentration camp was to bear the name “K.L. Ettersberg,” opposition arose. The name “Ettersberg” was, after all, associated with the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After an objection by the Weimar Nazi cultural community, the camp was renamed “K.L. Buchenwald/ Post Weimar” two weeks later.

Buchenwald was part of the fascist camp system that was reorganized in preparation for the fascist war. Until then, there were many smaller regional concentration camps, often under the responsibility of the SA. This changed in the mid-1930s. The small camps were dissolved and central camps such as Dachau, which had existed since 1933, were created at Sachsenhausen (1936), Buchenwald (1936), Flossenbürg (May 1938), Neuengamme (late 1938) and – after the “Anschluss” of Austria – Mauthausen (August 1938), as well as Ravensbrück in May 1939. The central function of these camps was the longer-term elimination of a larger number of political opponents in preparation for the planned war. In addition, the aim was the increasing internment of “elements harmful to the people,” as it was called in Nazi diction, i.e., all those who were excluded from the fascist “Volksgemeinschaft” as “enemies of the people.”
Since the annexation of parts of the CSR at the end of 1938, the deportation of people from all over Europe to the Ettersberg began. In the course of the Second World War, they came from Poland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Spanish fighters and Italian prisoners were also on Ettersberg in large numbers. In total, more than 30 nations were represented here. A total of over 250,000 people were imprisoned in Buchenwald and its 136 satellite camps. More than 60,000 people were murdered because of the prison conditions, on the death marches and the terror of the SS.

However, we also remember that the political prisoners in Buchenwald Concentration Camp succeeded in organizing resistance against the SS terror for the common survival of all prisoners, a resistance that resulted in the establishment of an International Camp Committee with an International Military Organization.
The political resistance succeeded in self-liberation of the camp when the Allied forces approached on April 11, 1945. 21,000 prisoners, whose deportation on death marches could be prevented, among them more than 900 children and youths experienced the liberation.
On April 19, 1945, they formulated their still famous Oath of Buchenwald:
“The destruction of Nazism with its roots is our slogan. The building of a new world of peace and freedom is our goal!”
The FIR and its member organizations feel obliged to this legacy of the survivors until today.

(FIR)

Koncentracijski logor (CC) Buchenwald osnovan je prije 85 godina

Dana 15. srpnja 1937., prvih 149 zatvorenika deportirano je iz CC Sachsenhausen u Ettersberg blizu Weimara kako bi se osnovalo ono što će kasnije postati CC Buchenwald. Tog dana logor se sastojao od jedne barake usred Državne šume Ettersburg. Namjestili su ga stražari iz CC Lichtenburg. Tijekom sljedećih pet tjedana iz logora Sachsenburg i Lichtenburg stiglo je gotovo 2000 zatvorenika, među kojima i veliki broj političkih zatvorenika. 1937. ukupno je dovedeno 2912 zarobljenika, od kojih su 53 umrla već 1. siječnja 1938.
Prvi zarobljenici morali su krčiti šumu, postavljati kanalizaciju i vodove, graditi ceste, barake, stambene zgrade, garaže i logor kasarne. Ovo razdoblje gradnje bilo je posebno okrutno. U 14 do 16 sati teškog fizičkog rada svaki dan, pod stalnom opasnošću od kažnjavanja SS-ovaca, logor i njegovi SS-ovi prostori, upravne zgrade i vile za više SS-ovce, ceste, toplane, logorska ograda sa svojim 23 stražarnice, a na ovoj planini u blizini Weimara izgrađene su tvornice u nešto manje od dvije godine. Unatoč žurbi i beskonačnom radnom vremenu, gotovo da i nije bilo tehničkih pomagala.
Kad se u gradu Weimaru saznalo da će novi koncentracijski logor nositi ime “K.L. Ettersberg”, pojavilo se protivljenje. Ime “Ettersberg” se, uostalom, povezivalo s pjesnikom Johannom Wolfgangom von Goetheom. Nakon prigovora weimarske nacističke kulturne zajednice, logor je dva tjedna kasnije preimenovan u “K.L. Buchenwald/ Post Weimar”.

Buchenwald je bio dio sustava fašističkih logora koji je reorganiziran u pripremama za fašistički rat. Do tada je bilo mnogo manjih regionalnih koncentracijskih logora, često pod odgovornošću SA. To se promijenilo sredinom 1930-ih. Mali logori su raspušteni, a središnji logori poput Dachaua, koji je postojao od 1933., stvoreni su u Sachsenhausenu (1936.), Buchenwaldu (1936.), Flossenbürgu (svibanj 1938.), Neuengammeu (kasno 1938.) i – nakon “Anschlussa” od Austrija – Mauthausen (kolovoz 1938.), kao i Ravensbrück u svibnju 1939. Središnja funkcija ovih logora bila je dugoročnija eliminacija većeg broja političkih protivnika u pripremi za planirani rat. Osim toga, cilj je bio sve veće interniranje “elemenata štetnih po narod”, kako se to govorilo u nacističkoj dikciji, tj. svih onih koji su iz fašističkog “Volksgemeinschafta” isključeni kao “narodni neprijatelji”.
Od aneksije dijelova CSR-a krajem 1938., počelo je deportiranje ljudi iz cijele Europe u Ettersberg. Tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata dolazili su iz Poljske, Francuske, Belgije, Luksemburga i Nizozemske, iz Jugoslavije i Sovjetskog Saveza. Španjolski borci i talijanski zarobljenici također su bili na Ettersbergu u velikom broju. Ukupno je ovdje bilo zastupljeno više od 30 nacija. Ukupno je više od 250.000 ljudi bilo zatočeno u Buchenwaldu i njegovih 136 satelitskih logora. Više od 60.000 ljudi ubijeno je zbog zatvorskih uvjeta, marševa smrti i terora SS-a.

No, također se sjećamo da su politički zatvorenici koncentracijskog logora Buchenwald uspjeli organizirati otpor protiv SS terora za zajednički opstanak svih zatvorenika, otpor koji je rezultirao osnivanjem Međunarodnog logorskog odbora pri Međunarodnoj vojnoj organizaciji.
Politički otpor uspio je u samooslobođenju logora dolaskom savezničkih snaga 11. travnja 1945. Oslobođenje je doživjelo 21.000 zatočenika čije se odvođenje na marševe smrti moglo spriječiti, među njima više od 900 djece i omladine.
Oni su 19. travnja 1945. formulirali svoju još uvijek poznatu Buchenwaldsku zakletvu:
“Uništenje nacizma s njegovim korijenima je naš slogan. Izgradnja novog svijeta mira i slobode naš je cilj!”
FIR i njegove organizacije članice osjećaju se dužnim prema ovoj ostavštini preživjelih do danas.

(FIR)

Facebook
E-mail