Friday, August 15, 2008

Theresienstadt, Terezin - Ghetto - Overview.

History of Theresienstadt, Terezin Ghetto

Theresienstadt (Terezin) Old Garrison Town, CZ

Theresienstadt, or Terezin as it appears in Czech, was an old garrison town with angled, star-shaped wall configurations now overgrown, that had also served as a prison. See

The Nazis converted it into a ghetto to hold Jews pending their further disposition; in that way, Petr Ginz came to be imprisoned there; it was in truth a concentration camp, and tens of thousands died, and even more were transported from there to other concentration camps, for labor or extermination.

Petr was transported here when he was about 14, and lived here for 2 years. Many children were brought here. The camp had a schooling area, and other parts of the camp at one point were set up to look like a reasonable place for Jews to be brought and held. The "excess" Jews were deported fast, and the area was shown off as just another ghetto to the Red Cross and other inspectors during World War II. It was theatred and it worked. The inspectors went away. See the entry at the deathcamps site above, and scroll down to near the photo of the prison cells for that event.

The trains apparently came to this siding for loading and loading.

You can see the piles of stones for remembrance that visitors leave there.

Theresienstadt (Terezin) Railroad halt point, discharge of cars

And to the side, up a ways, is a place hidden behind corrugated tin fencing and barbed wire as I recall, but you can see inside.

Put your camera in and there are deep pens or cave areas in the walls, with heavy grids.

Theresienstadt, Terezin. Holding areas, deep recesses in walls

The term "ghetto" is Italian, from the Jewish section in Venice from the 1500's. Later, the word described the areas where Germans concentrated the Jewish populationand forced them to live under miserable conditions...." See It was a means of "control and segregation" pending further steps that often led to labor or extermination camps. Here is a "Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust": town has a population, and some businesses are coming back.

Terezin, Theresienstadt Ghetto, barracks

The old barracks are there, and some are being renovated. 

Terezin, Theresienstadt. Garrison town grid streets, storehouses, many being lived in

There is a museum, and other buildings are identified as the school, the places for prayer, and other matters needed for an ongoing "town" of Jewish people.

The streets are in a military-type grid, there are parade grounds and even homes now, but even those echo the past. There are the guns, still facing inside, and right in the windows - see the trajectory. It is more stark than it shows here. Most is in disrepair.

New housing is also going up.

Terezin, Theresienstadt, current residences, old cannon aimed

Staying at Theresienstadt, Terezin. Not common yet, but do it.

Theresienstadt (Terezin) Pension, or rooming house

There is a rooming house, a "Pension" just outside the walls. And the car could be parked inside a locked lot. Stay there instead of returning the 5 miles to the "regular" town, Litomerice. There was a small eating place in town, home cooking and very good; people just there and talking. No fuss.

Theresienstadt, Terezin pension parking area. Secure enough.

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