The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/theresienstadt/terezin.001

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Terezin: The "Jewish Resort"
Summary: Background information about Terezin
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project http://www,
Keywords: Terezin

Archive/File: camps/theresienstadt/terezin.001
Last-Modified: 1994/01/25

   "The small garrison town of Terezin was built between two rivers as
   a fortress in the 1400's. In 1942 the Germans evacuated its
   population to make Terezin a concentration camp for Jews, crowding
   seventy-four thousand people into the space previously occupied by
   three thousand. During September and October of 1942, twenty
   thousand people were added. During this time thrity-five thousand
   people fell ill with dysentery, and thousands died.

   At the beginning of the Final Solution, Terezin was intended as a
   holding place for the aged and for some Jewish elite, a show-camp
   that could be used to assure suspicious international committees
   that the Jews, uprooted from their normal lives, were living in a
   resort town while their possible ransoming or other fate was
   decided. It was promoted by the Germans as an ideal place for old
   people, 'Theresienbad,' where, in exchange for all their property,
   the aged could live out the rest of their years in pleasant
   surroundings. German Jews were heartened by the formal contracts
   given them in exchange for their possessions. They stepped off the
   trains, some of them still calling 'Tra"ger' (porter), believing
   they had bought safety.<1> Sometimes it was not until they were
   crowded into their quarters that they realized they were prisoners,
   and that the slim possibility of staying in Terezin and alive
   depended on their ability to withstand disease, hunger, or slave
   labor in exchange for rations. In addition, it took luck or
   influence not to be called up for what the Germans called a
   transport 'for resettlement to the East,' which meant slave labor
   or death.

   Births were forbidden, and women discovered by the German
   authorities to have given birth were subject to immediate expulsion
   to the East. Yet 207 children were born in Theresienstadt, 25 of
   whom survived. Births were disguised by registering the newborn in
   place of a child that had died. The children who managed to survive
   experienced the worst conditions just before the end of the war.
   Transports to the East were increased, which meant more partings.
   Then in April 1945, groups of children that had been liberated from
   Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, among other camps, arrived. Within a
   three-week period, starting in the third week of April,
   approximately 300 children arrived. They came as skin and bones,
   carrying typhus, the kind transmitted by lice. Many of them died.
   Benes, the Czechoslovakian president, sent his personal physician
   to help.<2>" (Moskovitz, 10,11)

End Notes
<1> Edith and George Lauer, taped interviews, Pittsburgh, June 1979.
<2> Joe Finkelstone, "They Find Refuge in the Lake District,"
    _Carlisle Journal_, August 17, 1945.

                             Work Cited

Moskovitz, Sarah. Love Despite Hate: Child Survivors of the Holocaust and
Their Adult Lives. New York: Schocken Books, 1983

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