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Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

Article about: As early as autumn 1939, political prisoners at Konzentrationslager Buchenwald were saving the lives of Polish children arriving at Buchenwald. The creation of a bricklayers school, set up b

  1. #1
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    Default Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children


    As early as autumn 1939, political prisoners at Konzentrationslager Buchenwald were saving the lives of Polish children arriving at Buchenwald. The creation of a bricklayers school, set up by the prisoners, enabled many young inmates to evade the inevitable fate that awaited them within the Weimar netherworld.

    By December 1944, one in three prisoners was under the age of 21 - a statistic doubled within the Frauen-Aussenlagers (womens sub-camps). For most, family and home was but a memory. Their survival depended entirely on their ability to perform the forced labour duties expected of prisoners. During the camp's existence, 1,600 youths and children died of exhaustion, beatings or by execution. Within the barracks, prisoners created rooms or areas that were designated as safety zones for children - even in the pitiful conditions of the concentration camp, some were able to help the young survive, one day at a time.

    BLOCK 8:

    In 1943, German prisoner functionaries convinced the SS that a children's block should be established. Block 8 initially held over 150 Polish, Soviet and Ukrainian teens. Many children of various nationality arrived from 1943 onward, including Jewish boy Meir Lau, who arrived near the end of the war. Lau later went on to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel. When the camp was liberated in April 1945, over 300 boys were rescued including many Jews and Roma. Two block seniors, Franz Leitner and Wilhelm Hammann were later honoured in Israel as "Righteous Among The Nations".

    "DAS KLEINE LAGER" ("The Little Camp"):

    The Little Camp was established late in 1942, and served as a quarantine camp for the increasing number of new arrivals from the eastern camps being evacuated at the time. Sinti and Roma from Auschwitz were the first children to arrive at the Little Camp in Buchenwald. Those deemed unfit for labour - some 200 or so, were sent back to Auschwitz were they were later killed. From January 1945, many children died in the appalling conditions that prevailed in the Little Camp.

    See http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/after-...nwald-89550-2/

    BLOCK 66:

    By mid-January 1945, political inmates had again persuaded the SS to establish a separate block for the children - this time within the Little Camp. Led by Czech communist Antonn Kalina, they organised the creation of Kinderblock 66, a place of protection and assistance for thousands of youths during the worst period of the camp's existence. Among the inmates was Elie Wiesel, the famous Romanian born Jewish American writer of over 50 books including "Night", a work based on his experiences in Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald. Wiesel later received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. One week prior to the liberation of the camp, Kinderblock 66 held 900 prisoners.

    THE YOUNGEST ARRIVAL:

    From the middle of 1944, when the eastern camps were being emptied, transports of children arrived at Buchenwald frequently. The youngest to arrive was barely two and a half years old.

    LIBERATION:

    April 11th 1945. Of the 21,000 inmates still in the camp when it was liberated, 904 youths and children were among them. Despite receiving special care from the ICC (International Camp Committee), and members of the medical staff attached to the US 3rd Army, some children still died following the liberation.

    IMAGES:

    1. The former site of Das Kleine Lager ("The Little Camp"). The camp was destroyed after the liberation.

    2. Modern commemorative area near the original site.

    3. The site of Kinderblock 66, located within the Little Camp.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture BUCH-DAS KLEINE LAGER (Bord.trees.rt).jpg   BUCH-LIT-B.jpg  

    BUCH-KINDERBLOCK-66.jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

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    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children



    Children and youths being escorted out of Buchenwald by members of the US 3rd Army, shortly after the liberation of the Konzentrationslager.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture BUCH.LIB.KINDER.jpg  
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    Thank you for another interesting KZ-related thread...I've taken to researching the camp-system and those involved to a much greater degree due to your contributions...
    cheers, Glenn

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    Thank you Carl for posting this..if there is nothing that tugs at a persons heart is what had happened to the children at these camps and the separation of them from their parents and their siblings. Quite traumatizing! The Ghetto liquidation and the atrocities involving them was equally horrible. History in this respect must be remembered.
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. - Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    JMM
    JMM is offline
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    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    It's getting an habit reading your KL related threads
    Pls do keep posting them as I believe lots of us here find them most interesting
    Thank you Carl for your "History lessons"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    Carl, as the dad of a beautiful 7 year old daughter it is very disturbing to read this type of thread. These poor little souls, no kid deserved or deserves this kind of disgusting treatment. I must say, I keep my comments to a minimum on your threads, I am not as eloquent as you and I often feel the need to swear, however, I always read them. If it were possible to get my hands on the evil bastards that perpetrated this sort of misery on others, particularly little ones, ..........well, I'm not the only dad here, enough said. Thanks for keeping us aware of this side of history mate, you do a great job.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    as usual many thanks,keep reminding us all.

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    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children


    Many thanks for your kind words gents, glad that the thread is of interest.
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children

    Quote by TIGER88 View Post

    Many thanks for your kind words gents, glad that the thread is of interest.
    Yet another interesting and heart wretching thread Carl.I remember going to the childrens memorial at YAD VASHEM in JERUSALEM.For anyone who has never been there it is a cave like structure that is made inside completely of small angled mirrors,in the centre of the room is a single candle that is permanently kept alight.This one candle reflects in the thousands of mirrors and is a representation of the hundreds of thousands of children who were murdered by the Third Reich. Very powerful, Leon. Just found a picture of it on-line.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 1.png  

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kinderblock - The Buchenwald Children


    A very striking image Leon - a moving experience for certain. Thank you for posting it.

    Regards,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

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