German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the former Buchenwald concentration camp that Soviet prisoners of war have for too long been a “forgotten group of Nazi victims” and more attention should be paid to their memory
“Soviet prisoners of war and forced labourers, Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians were the largest group at Buchenwald concentration camp. The pseudo-scientific racial doctrine of the National Socialists provided no place for them in human society, they were doomed to extermination”, – said Steinmeier.
He recalled that this year “marks the 80th anniversary of the attack of the German Wehrmacht on the Soviet Union”. Steinmeier stressed that “June 22, 1941, had a direct impact on the Buchenwald concentration camp as a “new group of victims” entered the concentration camp with Soviet prisoners of war.
“Eight thousand so-called suspicious persons, Soviet officers and Jews, were killed at Buchenwald alone. Soviet prisoners of war have been a forgotten victim group for too long, so it is right that we – especially this year – pay more attention to them”, – the president concluded.
Every year on 11 April, the International Day for the Liberation of Prisoners of Fascist Concentration Camps is observed. It was established to commemorate the Buchenwald Uprising, in which prisoners managed to disarm and capture guards.
Some 250,000 people passed through Buchenwald between 1937 and 1945, 56,000 of whom were killed, starved and deprived, and tortured by the brutal medical experiments of the Nazis.