I visited Buchenwald.Thank you Mr. Obama.

It just happened that i was in Dresden moderating a panel on Video, while Barack Obama was there. His program was inspiring and i went to Buchenwald on Saturday morning.
This visit will remain as a major experience. Never forget, keep this place alive, nurture it, as well as other similar places in the world.
The Nazi had put together an outstanding organization to bring human beings to simple merchandises. From humiliation to death, they used great number of ressources: inoculation of typhus, torture, dogs, hunger, physical punishments, hard work. They shot, hung, burned people.

Buchenwald was a training center for the SS, as early as 1937, and a prisoners camp. They built roads and 10km of railroads from Weimar. It operated a military factory, a facility for experimentation, a crematorium, a zoo for the nazis and their family. It’s initial purpose was not to be an exterminating center, although it became one. More than 250 000 people transfered there between 1937 and 1945, and 56 000 died.
One can easily image the prisoners arriving through the railroad ending there, in the middle of this beatiful forest. A final journey quite often.

While I was running Roger-Viollet, the french archive photo agency, this picture often came up. Those prisoners laying on wooden bunks with dreadful faces, and this one standing on the right, skin only on the bones. I keep this picture somewhere in my mind. That photo was taken in Buchewald, in the so-called little camp. The buildings were formely stables for horses, the ground was mud, windows were opened. It rapidly becoming a dying place. On average, 1 000 people stayed there, but up to 2 000 on occasion.

I strongly recommend to visit Buchenwald or similar places. They tell us about who we are, as human beings, where we are coming from. Thank you, Mr. President, for your inspiring leadership.