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June 28, 2012

Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald (Documentary about the orphans in the camp)

A documentary about four of the young boys in Block 66, the barracks for orphan boys at Buchenwald, was released in April 2012.  You can read about the film here.

Elie Wiesel is the most famous survivor of Buchenwald, but he is not among the four survivors who returned to Buchenwald for this documentary.  Elie was an orphan after his father died in the Buchenwald camp, but he claims that he was in Block 56, a barrack for adult men.  I previously blogged about Elie Wiesel in Buchenwald here.

Block 66 was located in “The Little Camp,” which was the quarantine camp where new arrivals had to spend time before entering the main part of the camp.  Most of the prisoners in the Little Camp were Jews who had been transferred to Buchenwald after they were evacuated from camps in what is now Poland. One of the narrators in the film refers to “The Little Camp” as “the death zone.”

The boys in Block 66 were protected by the Communist political prisoners who ran the camp. It is implied in the film that the Nazis were trying to kill all the prisoners at Buchenwald, and the Communists had to decide which prisoners that they would save. In the last days of World War II, before the Communists took over the Buchenwald camp completely and drove the Nazis out, the SS administrators of the camp ordered all the prisoners to report to the Appelplatz, from where they would be “death marched” out of the camp, or put on trains and taken to other concentration camps, such as Dachau.  A photo of the death train at Dachau is shown in the film. I previously blogged about a death march out of the Buchenwald camp here.

Ken Waltzer is one of the narrators in the YouTube video about the film. At 0:39 seconds in the video, you can see a young boy, who might be one of the two boys, who were at Buchenwald.

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