In this activity about the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp, students will study a historical event from different perspectives. They will explore photographs from the collection of the Montreal Holocaust Museum taken after the liberation by Allied troops and showing camp survivors. They will read a testimony of a French soldier and watch the testimonies of two survivors liberated Buchenwald, one who was a child and another who participated in the liberation of the camp by prisoners.

By doing this activity, students will analyze primary sources (photographs), learn that video testimonies are also primary sources and to understand an event, we must explore and analyze different sources.

Curriculum Links

  • Reading and interpreting illustrated documents, iconographic and written
  • Interprets social phenomena using the historical method
  •  Interprets a contemporary world problem

Download The liberation of Buchenwald events, several prospects pedagogical activity

The pedagogical activity The liberation of Buchenwald events, several prospects  is adapted to the Quebec Education Training Program. It is also available online free of charge. Click on the button at the bottom of this page to begin the activity. Note that the activity is in French only.

Dutch prisoners at the Buchenwald concentration camp, February 28, 1941. This photo illustrates both the dehumanization of the prisoners and a mountain of corpses: they all have their heads shaved, all wear the same uniform and they stay in a row for hours.

Prisonniers néerlandais au camp de concentration de Buchenwald, 28 février 1941. Cette photo illustre aussi bien la déshumanisation des prisonniers qu’une montagne de cadavres : ils ont tous la tête rasée, portent tous le même uniforme et ils restent tous en rangée pendant des heures.

Photos taken by the US Army Signal Corps

Survivants dans le camp de concentration de Buchenwald peu après leur libération. Buchenwald, Allemagne, avril 1945.

Children surviving the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. April 1945

Enfants survivants à la libération du camp de concentration du Buchenwald. Avril 1945

We invite you to use our Teaching with Primary Sources in History Classroom Analysis Sheet.

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