The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/theresienstadt/theresien.04

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Theresienstadt - Disillusionment
Summary: Careful plans for a Jewish city of refuge shattered as Germans
         dissolve family units and enforce sexual segregation
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project 
Keywords: theresienstadt

Archive/File: camps/theresienstadt/theresien.04
Last-Modified: 1994/09/28

   "The dissolution of the family unit destroyed all the fine planning
   on paper and brought home the reality of the Jews' position.
   Theresienstadt was to be run as a labor camp, not a city. The
   detailed programs for the various departments and subdivisions
   seemed like a dream from another world. No vestige remained of the
   proposed liaison office, which was meant to maintain contact with
   the outside world and represnet the Jewish city in dealings with
   the Zentralstelle, the Prague community office, and in buying from
   and selling to non-Jewish economic institutions. There was only one
   type of liaison - and it led straight to German headquarters.

   The older children were separated from the adults almost
   immediately. They were housed in separate rooms, first in the
   Sudeten barracks and then in all of them, and instructors from the
   Zionist youth movements were placed in charge of them. ...

   Once a week, in procession, the children were allowed to visit
   their fathers and mothers in the other barracks, but otherwise they
   were the sole responsibility of the instructors, who worked almost
   nonstop. During his first days in the ghetto, Yekef visited the
   children's quarters and complained about the filth. Gonda tried to
   explain how difficult it was to keep the place clean when there
   were no brooms, pails, or other cleaning materials, but Yekef also
   had other complaints about how the children were being cared for
   and was generally dissatisfied with what had been done thus far.
   Gonda spoke of the difficulties involved in caring for hundreds of
   children without normal facilities, but in the middle of the
   conversation Yekef suddenly said, 'I'm very tired, I must get some
   sleep.' Gonda realized that he had not heard a word he had said.
   Fredy, who had a mania for order, organized a cleanliness
   competition in the children's rooms and even managed to obtain
   edible prizes from the economic division, though he was not pleased
   when it was Gonda who presented the children with their prizes."
   (Bondy, 254-5)

                              Work Cited

   Bondy, Ruth.  Elder of the Jews.  New York: Grove Press, 1989.
   (Translated from "Edelshtain neged had-zeman".  Zmora, Bitan,
   Modan, publishers, 1981

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