What we have in the Archive: 1

Document name: Buchenwald Konzentrationslager Gedenkführer / Buchenwald concentration camp memorial guide

Document type: Brochure

Language: German

Date published: 1986

Place of publication: Nationale Mahn- und Gedenkstätte (Weimar), Buchenwald Memorial

Author: Bodo Ritscher

Archive code:

Details/ information: This brochure was produced in East Germany as a guide to the memorial site of Buchenwald concentration camp. The camp was central for the East German approach to the Nazi dictatorship. Due to its many communist prisoners and their illegal resistance organisation within the camp, Buchenwald was used after the war as a symbol of communist suffering as well as a contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany; the camp served the East German government as a legitimisation of communist rule and the new socialist order in the GDR.

Module it links to: GM1IMG: Icons of Modern Germany, Part 1

Topic: Antifascism





Document name: Nackt unter Wölfen/ Naked among Wolves

Document type: Novel

Language: German

Date published: 1971 (first published in 1958)

Place of publication: Leipzig

Publisher: Reclam

Author/creator: Bruno Apitz

Archive code: 3B2/1 Ap

Details/ information: The novel is set in Buchenwald concentration camp and tells the story of prisoners who hide a Polish-Jewish boy. The child is brought to the camp in a suitcase by a newly arriving prisoner and needs the protection of the camp’s communist resistance group in order to survive. The child and his self-sacrificing communist protectors became symbols of the struggle against Nazism and of hope for a future in peace and freedom. The novel is said to be based on the biography of Stefan Jerzy Zweig, famously called the ‘Buchenwaldkind’. Bruno Apitz, the author of the novel, also works through his own experience as a communist prisoner in the camp from 1937 to 1945. In the GDR the novel was part of the school curriculum. It was very successful internationally and was translated into 30 languages and made into two films.

Module it links to: GM1IMG: Icons of Modern Germany Part 1

Topic: Antifascism

  • The original 1963 DEFA (East Germany) film ‘Nackt unter Wölfen’ based on the novel: https://reading.kanopy.com/video/naked-among-wolves
    • See also the full playlist on Kanopy of 3 other videos, showing the premiere of the film in Moscow, clips of the Buchenwaldkind meeting Buchenwald survivors and a talk by the author
  • Buchenwald brochure in the East German Archive
  • Niven, William, The Buchenwald Child: Truth, Fiction, and Propaganda, Camden House 2007.









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