Buchenwald, though the site of over 50,000 deaths, was not a death camp. However, the atrocities that occurred there were unspeakable, and the pictures that were taken, the first to be published around the world, are important historically. Before the liberation of Buchenwald, the world had only heard rumors of such atrocities; now there was photographic evidence. Furthermore, after The liberation of Buchenwald, Weimar citizens, who lived only a few km away from the camp for years, were forced to tour the grounds and see first hand the results of the Nazi's inhumane treatment of the "prisoners."
There are elements at the camp that add to the eerie aura, such as the Nazi's zoo juxtaposed with the crematory ovens. There's also an extremely informative museum on the grounds, though many of the relics (letters, objects, etc) have information only in German. Touring the camp is free, though you might want to have some coins on hand to purchase some brochures. Plan to spend at least two hours there if you are going to the museum.
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