June 4, 2009
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum welcomes President Obama’s decision to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp. Exactly 64 years ago General Eisenhower deliberately visited Ohrdruf, a subcamp of Buchenwald, to see firsthand the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. He was so shocked by what he encountered that he urged members of Congress, journalists and others to visit and document the newly liberated camps so that no one in the future could dismiss the atrocities as “propaganda.” Sadly, his fears were not unfounded as evidenced by the rise in Holocaust denial today. To the American soldiers who liberated Buchenwald, the camp starkly illustrated the singular evil that was Nazism, and we remember the extraordinary sacrifices made by the United States and its Allies to defeat Nazi Germany.