World

Survivors, US veterans mark 70th anniversary of Buchenwald liberation, recall horror of camp

  • In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo Henry Oster poses at the gate of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald with the inscription 'Jedem das Seine' (To each his own) on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Weimar, eastern Germany. Henry Oster was seventeen years old when he was liberated by the United States Army in Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo Henry Oster poses at the gate of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald with the inscription 'Jedem das Seine' (To each his own) on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Weimar, eastern Germany. Henry Oster was seventeen years old when he was liberated by the United States Army in Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo Henry Oster, right, survivor of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald reacts as he visits the memorial of the camp's Jewish victims on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Weimar, eastern Germany. Henry Oster was seventeen years old when he was liberated by the United States Army in Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    In this Friday, April 10, 2015 photo Henry Oster, right, survivor of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald reacts as he visits the memorial of the camp's Jewish victims on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Weimar, eastern Germany. Henry Oster was seventeen years old when he was liberated by the United States Army in Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • Flowers sit in front of an oven inside the crematory of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald at the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp near Weimar, eastern Germany, Friday, April 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Flowers sit in front of an oven inside the crematory of the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald at the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp near Weimar, eastern Germany, Friday, April 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

Buchenwald survivor Henry Oster recalls thinking that a fellow inmate had "lost his sense of reality" when he said 70 years ago Saturday that the concentration camp was being liberated, bringing an end to the long ordeal of the 21,000 surviving prisoners.

Oster, 86, visited the site for the first time since its liberation by U.S. forces on April 11, 1945 — one of a group of survivors and veterans who came to mark the anniversary of the liberation.

Oster said: "What I see here, where the barracks used to be, at every barrack there was a pile of dead bodies, this is in your memory forever."

Around 250,000 prisoners were held at Buchenwald from its opening in July 1937 to its liberation. An estimated 56,000 people were killed.