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Theresienstadt (Cecoslovacchia : ghetto)   Cerca


First intended as a transit camp for Czech Jews (1. phase 1941/942) which was later turned into a "Modelghetto" (June 1942), was established in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, on November 24, 1941.The Theresienstadt ghetto/camp was commanded by Siegfried Seidl, Anton Burger, and Karl Rahm, respectively. Guarded by Czech gendarmes as well as members of the Jewish "Ordnungsdienst", the ghetto was meant to serve as a "model" Jewish settlement from 1942 on. An Ältestenrat (Council of Elders) was formed to oversee internal affairs of the ghetto. In September 1942, the ghetto population numbered some 53,004 Jews. Prior to April 20, 1945, 140,000 Jews from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Hungary were incarcerated in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Approximately 35, 000 died in the ghetto and another 88,000 were sent to extermination camps. The first deportation from Theresienstadt to death camps took place in January 1942. Between September 27, 1944, and October 28, 1944, eleven mass deportations took place. In the first half of 1944, a project to beautify Theresienstadt was undertaken so that it could be shown publicly in a deceptive effort to disguise the contemporary realities of the Nazis' treatment of Jews. These included construction of a concert/theatre/community hall, the distribution of beds, expansion of the library, and play facilities for children, as well as musical and theatrical equipment and supplies to enhance the cultural life of the ghetto. It also, however, led to the deportation and deaths of many ghetto inmates whom the Germans felt spoiled the image of the ghetto or who were deported in order to temporarily ease overcrowding that was deemed unsightly for the purpose of an impending visit. The beautification effort culminated in the June 23, 1944, tour of the ghetto by a foreign delegation comprised of two Danish government officials, Frants Hvass and Dr. E. Juel-Henningsen, and a Swiss member of the International Red Cross, Maurice Rossel. The Germans embarked upon making of a propaganda film intended to further spread into the international community the idea of humane treatment of Jews at the hands of those who in fact were persecuting and murdering them. At the end of the shooting of the film, those Jewish inmates involved, either directly or indirectly in the shooting, were deported to Auschwitz between September and October 1944. On April 15, 1945, the Red Cross transferred 1,613 Jews from Theresienstadt to Switzerland and Sweden. From late April the Germans transferred thousands of inmates from evacuated concentration camps to Theresienstadt. The final transport arrived on May 6, 1945 containing 87 dead and 1, 800 barely-living concentration camp inmates and 600 Allied POWs. On May 2, 1945, the Germans admitted a Red Cross representative and on May 4, 1945 the Red Cross took over administration of the ghetto. On May 9, 1945, Soviet troops entered the Theresienstadt ghetto where they found 17, 000 Theresienstadt inmates and as many as 14, 000 evacuees from other camps who had arrived in the last weeks of the war. (en-US)


Ruzena Bubenickova, Ludmila Kubatova and Irena Mala. " Tabory utrpeni a smrti"(Death and Concentration Camps), Svoboda 1969.

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