Buchenwald concentration camp immigration plan criticised

January 15th, 2015

“This is not a normal place, not just anywhere, but a place of exploitation, oppression and unbounded violence,” Christine Glauning, director of the Documentation Centre for Nazi Forced Labour, told Spiegel magazine’s website.

The history of the site is not well documented. It was small outpost of the much larger Buchenwald concentration camp, where more than 50,000 prisoners were killed, many of them forced labourers deliberately worked to death.

Some 700 Polish slave labourers were held at the outpost in Schwerte and forced to work on the nearby railway maintenance facility.

The Schwerte authorities defended the decision, stressing that the barracks building had never housed prisoners, and that it had been used since the war as accommodation for disabled veterans, and as an artist’s studio.

Many former Nazi buildings are used in Germany. The Berlin Olympic Stadium, built under Hitler for the 1936 Olympics, is still used as a football ground and concert venue.

Last year George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, took part in a joint press conference with EU finance ministers at the former Nazi Air Ministry, built for Hermann Goering, which is now used as Germany’s Finance Ministry.

But modern Germany has avoided using former concentration camps, or sites connected specifically with Hitler, such as the former Fuhrerbunker in Berlin.

World War Two

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