Shocking Images

Buchenwald was the first major concentration camp to be entered by American troops. From mid-April 1945 onwards, photos and reports documenting the harrowing conditions they encountered spread throughout the Western world. Millions heard Edward R. Murrows’s Buchenwald report on CBS. His voice betrayed the shock of what the Americans had found. At the suggestion of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Troops, a large number of journalists, politicians and members of the U.S. Army visited the liberated camp.

On 24 April, ten members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives arrived in Buchenwald. They had survivors give them a tour of the camp. They were followed the next day by a delegation of journalists – 18 editors-in-chief and publishers of major American newspapers – invited by the U.S. Department of War. Buchenwald became synonymous with the as-yet-undefeated criminal regime.

(Harry Stein)