What follows is the story of a unique group of photos, lost for nearly three decades. They and the story that their Net poster developed illustrate the undeniable horrors of the Nazi era. They are extremely graphic and not for children. The blogger’s nom de plume was Bigwig and his blog was Silflay Hraka. This site was originally created to mirror his site, which is now defunct.
Ohrdruf, also known as Ohrdruf-Nord, was the first Nazi prison camp to be discovered while it still had inmates living inside of it, although 9,000 prisoners had already been evacuated from Ohrdruf on April 2nd and marched 32 miles to the main camp at Buchenwald. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the camp had a population of 11,700 prisoners in late March, 1945 before the evacuation began.
The swift advance of the Third U.S. Army’s famous Fourth Armored uncovered the horror of a Nazi SS murder camp at Ohrdruf, entered April 4, 1945, after the fall of Gotha, eight miles to the north. American soldiers who seized the camp found the courtyard littered with the bodies of Czechoslovakian, Russian, Belgian and French slave laborers, slain because they were too weak to be evacuated. In a shed, they found a stack of 44 naked and lime-covered bodies.
According to survivors, 3,000 to 4,000 prisoners had been killed by SS troops, 70 being slain just before the Americans reached the camp. The 80 survivors had escaped death or removal by hiding in the woods. They reported that an average 150 died daily, mainly from shooting or clubbing. The Nazi system was too feed prisoners a crust of bread a day, work them on tunneling until they were too weak to continue, then exterminate them and replace them with another 150 prisoners daily.
Led by Colonel Hayden Sears of the Fourth Armored Division, prominent German citizens of the town of Ohrdruf saw with their own eyes the horrors of SS brutality during a conducted tour of the Ohrdruf charnel house April 8, 1945. As they stood over the slain prisoners, Colonel Sears said: “This is why Americans cannot be your friends…” The enforced tour of the Germans ended with a visit to a wood where 10 bodies lay on a grill, made of railway lines, ready for cremation. Colonel Sears asked a uniformed German medical officer: “Does this meet with your conception of the German master race?” The officer faltered and at last answered: “I cannot believe that Germans did this.”