Holocaust survivors join Buchenwald camp liberation commemoration
Visitors with flags stand in the Buchenwald memorial near Weimar during a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp. For the first time since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, concentration camp survivors from Israel, Poland and Romania, among others, are expected to attend the commemoration while representatives of the governments of Russia and Belarus have been disinvited by the memorial. Martin Schutt/dpa
Visitors with flags stand in the Buchenwald memorial near Weimar during a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp. For the first time since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, concentration camp survivors from Israel, Poland and Romania, among others, are expected to attend the commemoration while representatives of the governments of Russia and Belarus have been disinvited by the memorial. Martin Schutt/dpa

Holocaust survivors attended a ceremony on Sunday at the former Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald near the central German city of Weimar to commemorate its liberation.

Among the 16 survivors of the prison camp was Anastasia Guley, a 96-year-old woman from Ukraine who survived after going through the Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen camps.

Guley fled to Germany after Russia invaded her homeland and now lives in Saxony-Anhalt, the state neighbouring Thuringia, where Buchenwald is located.

Another Buchenwald survivor from Ukraine, Borys Romanchenko, was killed by Russian airstrikes in Kharkiv last month.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said in his speech that it is a "disgrace" that "survivors of the Shoah, of all people, now have to suffer again like this at the end of their difficult lives." The Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

The Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation had invited official representatives from Russia and Belarus for the ceremony, but the invitation was cancelled because of the war.

Representatives of the Belarusian opposition and the human rights organization Memorial, which is banned in Russia, attended the ceremony.

From 1937 until shortly before the end of the World War II, the Nazis sent around 280,000 people from all over Europe to the Buchenwald concentration camp, which was liberated by US troops on April 11, 1945. Some 56,000 died there.

"Buchenwald" and "Majdanek" are inscribed on the stelae at the Buchenwald memorial near Weimar ahead of a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp. For the first time since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, concentration camp survivors from Israel, Poland and Romania, among others, are expected to attend the commemoration while representatives of the governments of Russia and Belarus have been disinvited by the memorial. Martin Schutt/dpa
Wreaths lie at the Buchenwald memorial near Weimar ahead of a commemoration for the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp. For the first time since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, concentration camp survivors from Israel, Poland and Romania, among others, are expected to attend the commemoration while representatives of the governments of Russia and Belarus have been disinvited by the memorial. Martin Schutt/dpa