Newly liberated Jewish survivors of Buchenwald concentration camp are joined by Jewish U.S. Army soldiers who helped liberate the camp for the first day of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) religious service, conducted by U.S. Army chaplain Rabbi Herschel Schachter (far left) of VIII Corps, Third United States Army (United States Army Central). The Shavuot service commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The day after this Shavuot service was held, a group of Jewish children, former inmates, were repatriated to their homes in Czechoslovakia. Rabbi Schacter remained at Buchenwald for months, tending to survivors and leading religious services. Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany. 18 May 1945.
U.S. Army soldiers stand grimly around a heap of corpses following the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. A detachment of troops of the U.S. 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, from the 6th Armored Division, part of the U.S. Third Army (United States Army Central) arrived at the main camp of Buchenwald on 11 April 1945. Between April 1938 and April 1945, some 238,380 people of various nationalities were incarcerated in Buchenwald. One estimate places the number of deaths at 56,000. Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany. 11 April 1945.
Recently liberated inmates at Buchenwald concentration camp mill around the camp enjoying cigarettes provided to them by American soldiers. The man in the center is identifiable as a French political prisoner, possibly a member of the French Resistance. The young boy on the right plays with a toy gun, also provided by American troops. Buchenwald concentration camp was one of the largest and earliest concentration camps; Dachau being built in 1933 was the first to be built. The main camp was liberated 11 April 1945 by a detachment of troops of the U.S. 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, from the 6th Armored Division, part of the U.S. Third Army (United States Army Central). Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany. April 1945. Image taken by Eric Schwab.