Weimar-Buchenwald summer camp
24.07-06.08.2022

© ASF/Archiv

Buchenwald near Weimar has a multi-layered and ambiguous history. The participants of the summer camp deal with this history in various ways with content-related support from the educational department of the memorial.

In 1937, the National Socialist Buchenwald concentration camp was built on the Ettersberg near Weimar. It was one of the largest camps on German territory. In February 1945, over 112.000 people from 60 different countries were imprisoned in Buchenwald and its associated satellite camps. They had to do mostly hard forced labor, which since 1942 occurred especially within German weapon industry. At least 56,000 people did not survive.

From 1945 to 1950, the Soviet occupying forces used the site as a special camp. Most of the buildings were demolished after 1950. In the newly-founded GDR, a memorial to the anti-fascist resistance was to be built. The "National GDR Memorial Buchenwald" was inaugurated in 1958. Since the 1990s, numerous changes have been made to the memorial site to commemorate more and other groups of victims. Two permanent exhibitions provide information about the history of the concentration camp and about the Soviet special camp. There is also an art exhibition., In addition to practical and maintenance work on the hiking trail called “Buchenwald Railway Memorial Trail” (along the former railway tracks) and / or in the memorial on the former camp grounds, the participants of the summer camp will deal with the complex past of the site. On the hiking trail, they can engrave the names of deported children and young people on stones, or they can restore objects found during excavations in the restoration workshop. The proximity of the camp to the city of Weimar, which is important for German history and culture, will be discussed. The handling and representation of Buchenwald's multi-layered story from 1945 until today will also be a topic. In addition to the place itself with its preserved buildings and remaining foundations, there are numerous opportunities for research through texts, photographs, drawings, found objects, archives, audio and film material and much more.

This year, a special event will take place during the summer camp period. From 2013 to 2021, numerous volunteers from all over the world engraved a total of 111 names of deported Jewish children and young people on memorial stones. In October 1944, these 111 between the ages of 13 and 19 were deported to Auschwitz and murdered. On Sunday 1st August 2022, the memorial stones will be inaugurated as a monument. The teams of the Initiative “Commemoration path Buchenwald-Bahn” and the Buchenwald memorial invite the participants to support the inauguration: by maintaining and preserving the memorial path, preparing the day or helping to shape the inauguration, for example by reading out the 111 names.

  • Type: International summer camp
  • Work: (mostly) Outdoor maintenance and / or restoration work, dealing with the history of the place
  • Group: We expect around 12-15 participants.
  • Camp languages: German, English
  • Accommodation: Accommodation in the memorial's youth meeting center