Cremation Ovens at Buchenwald camp

Brick ovens where bodies were cremated

Door into shower room in the center, elevator on the right

Rear view of the cremation ovens

Surprisingly, the cremation facility at Buchenwald is in a large airy room with plenty of open space, which is filled with light from the bank of windows on the wall opposite the ovens. The ovens were manufactured by Topf and Sons, the company which also made the ovens for the notorious death camps in what is now Poland. These ovens used coke for fuel and by the end of the war, the shortage of fuel resulted in a pile of bodies in the camp, waiting to be buried.

Wagon load of corpses found in the camp by the liberators

Toilet and shower for the use of the crematorium workers

The photograph above shows the small shower room in the crematorium at Buchenwald. Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen, the other Nazi camps that were comparable to Buchenwald, also had shower rooms in their crematoria, but at Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen, the shower rooms were actually gas chambers where prisoners were murdered. Buchenwald was unique in that it was the only major concentration camp where the shower room in the crematorium was not used to gas the prisoners.

The photo below shows a collection of empty urns which were found in the crematorium; these urns were intended to be used to hold the ashes of the cremated prisoners. In the early days of all the concentration camps, the Nazis would send the ashes of prisoners who died in the camps to their families. However, a sign outside the crematorium at Buchenwald says that the dead prisoners of Buchenwald were cremated in order to deprive the families of their remains.

Urns for the ashes of the cremated bodies

When the Bismarck Tower on the Ettersberg was blown up by the Soviet Union to provide a place for their Bell Tower Monument in honor of the Communist prisoners of Buchenwald, they found 1286 urns full of ashes in the basement of the tower.

Death Statistics