This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for April 11, 2017: Harmony in the Boudoir

Apr. 11, 2017: on this day: U.S. Army liberates Buchenwald concentration camp

On this day in 1945 the U.S. Army liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany, a camp that was judged second only to Auschwitz in the horrors it imposed on its prisoners. It had been established in 1937, and about 56,000 prisoners died there. It was the first camp to be liberated by U.S. troops at the end of World War II. As American forces closed in on Buchenwald, the Gestapo telephoned the camp administration to announce that it was going to blow up the camp and destroy any evidence of its existence — including its inmates. The camp administrators had already fled in fear of the Allies and a prisoner answered the phone, pretending to be a camp official. He persuaded headquarters that explosives would not be needed because the camp had already been destroyed. Among those saved by the Americans was Elie Wiesel, who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.