Description: Buchenwald concentration camp was a Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg (Etter Mountain) near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany, in July 1937, and one of the largest such camps on German soil. Camp prisoners worked primarily as slave labour in local armament factories. Inmates were Jews, political prisoners, religious prisoners, and prisoners of war. Up to 1942 the majority of the political prisoners consisted of communists, later the proportion of other political prisoners increased considerably. Among the prisoners were also writers, doctors, artists, former nobility, and an Italian Princess. They came from countries as varied as Russia, Poland, France, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Spanish Republic and Italy. Most of the political prisoners from the occupied countries were people of the resistance.
Between July 1937 and April 1945, some 250,000 people were incarcerated in Buchenwald by the Nazi regime, including 168 Western Allied POWs. One estimate places the number of deaths in Buchenwald at 56,000 (discussed further below).
During an American bombing raid on 24 August 1944 that was directed at a nearby armament factory, several bombs, including incendiaries, also fell on the camp, resulting in heavy casualties amongst the inmates.