TEREZIN: Litomerice, Usti nad Labem, Bohemia Print

ALTERNATE NAMES: TEREZÍN [CZ], THERESIENSTADT [GER]. 50°31' N, 14°09' E, Location of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In N Bohemia, 33 miles NNW of Praha (Prague), Litoměřice 1 miles

Source TEREZIN: See (Theresienstadt), before 1876 used the cemetery at Lovosice and the cemetery at Cizkovice. A former military fortress and garrison town where the Habsburg Monarchy erected (1780-1790) the 3.89 km² fortress near the confluence of the Labe and Ohře Rivers named  after Empress Maria Theresa. In peacetime it held 5,655 soldiers and in wartime around 11,000 soldiers. Fortress Josefov in eastern Bohemia, built at the same time, had a similar purpose. During the second half of the 19th century the fortress was  used as a prison and during World War I, as a political prison camp. Thousands of Russophiles from Galicia and Bukovina were placed here by Austro-Hungarian. Gavrilo Princip, whose assassinated of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, and his wife started WWI, died here of tuberculosis in 1918.

During WWII, the Gestapo used Terezín, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, as a ghetto to gather Jews from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. Though not an extermination camp, of the over 150,000 Jews who arrived there, about 33,000 died in the ghetto's appalling conditions and extreme population density. The Terezin Memorial to the Jews deported from there to Auschwitz death camp is the only one its kind in the Czech Republic. The memorial sites commemorate the victims of the Nazi persecution in Czech lands. Its cemetery contains 8,000 graves and a research museum exploring the rise of Nazism and life in the Terezin ghetto, while the former Magdeburg Barracks, a reconstructed dormitory for prisoners, exhibits of the rich cultural life that somehow flourished in most fearsome times. 38 mi. north of Prague.  Part of the fortification (Small Fortress) served as the largest Gestapo prison in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, separated from the ghetto. Around 90,000 people went through it, and 2,600 of those died there. About 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. At the end of the war 17,247 survived. It was liberated on May 9, 1945 by the Soviet Army. After the German surrender ,the small fortress was an internment camp for ethnic Germans and the likes of Heinrich Jöckel, the former commander of Terezín, and other SS. The army's leaving the city in 1996 had a negative effect on the local economy. The city was damaged by floods in 2002 (see pictures). 327 bronze markers were stolen from the Jewish cemetery in mid-April 2008, with 700 more the next week. Some were recovered. (Patricia Treble. "Meltdown: metal prices spur thieves". Macleans Magazine: 35. 2008) photos See A Visit to Terezin, an article from Think Prague Magazine with pictures and contact information. [February 2009]

  1. Totenbuch Theresienstadt (Vienna, 1970s)
  2. List of Czechoslovak People Who, According to Information Received from Persons Released to Switzerland (from Terezin), Were Still in Terezin on February 5, 1945 (, )
  3. Terezin (, 1965)
  4. Fortegnelse over deporterede J"der fra danmark, der er sendt til Theresienstadt. Protektorat B"hmen-M„hre (, 1944)
  5. Czechoslovak inmates at Bergen Belsen and Teresienstadt (New York, 1945)
  6. Charlotte, A Holocaust Memoir: Remembering Theresienstadt (, )
  7. 1 copy regarding the Jewish cemetery; in German, English; Donor: Oscar Schreyer, 1993, 1994; (1922-1995) at the Leo Baeck Institute, NY: Storage Cemetery: A 37/1; Accession Number(s): AR 6552.
Rick Steves: "Just outside of Prague is Terezín concentration camp (Theresienstadt in German). This particularly insidious place was dolled up as a model camp for Red Cross inspection purposes. Inmates had their own newspaper, and the children put on cute plays. But after the camp passed its inspection, life returned to slave labor and death. Ponder the touching collection of Jewish children's art, also on display in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague's Jewish Quarter."

CEMETERY:

TEREZIN (I):     US Commission No.CZCE000052

Alternate German name: Theresienstadt. Terezin is located in Bohemia, Litomerice at 50º31 14º09, 3 km SE of Litomerice; 18 km SE of Usti nad Labem; and 50 km NNW of Praha. Cemetery: municipal cemetery, 1 km S. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky ura, 411 55 Terezin 178; tel. 0416922-27.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, 412 01 Litomerice; and Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02231-69-25.
  • Interested: Okresni Muzeum, Mirove namesti, 412 01 Litomerice. Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jackymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02231-06-34 or 231-07-85. Pamatnik Terezin, (head: Dr. Jan Munk), 411 55 Terezin, Principova alej 304; tel. 0416922-25 or 924-42.
  • Caretaker with key: Hrbitnovi sprava (custodian of municipal cemetery), 411 55 Terezin.

Earliest known Jewish community was second half of 19th century. 1930 Jewish population was 98. Jewish community consisted of both scanty permanent community of the town and many soldiers of local garrison; high mortality of prisoners of war (Jewish, too) 1914-1918. Large ghetto for Middle Europe in 1942-1945. The Jewish portion cemetery originated about 1915 with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial probably in 1918. Buried in the unlandmarked cemetery are Jewish prisoners of war or war refugees of Galacia and Bukovina. The flat rural (agricultural) land, part of a municipal cemetery, has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, gate, or fence for Jewish part of cemetery. The approximate size of cemetery is now about 0.03 ha.

1-20 stones, all in original location, date from 20th century. The sandstone flat shaped stones, flat stones with carved relief decoration or obelisks have Hebrew and German inscriptions. The cemetery contains no known mass graves, structures, or special sections. The municipality owns Jewish cemetery property. Adjacent properties are Municipal Cemetery. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. There is occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. Slight threat: uncontrolled access, weather erosion and vandalism.

Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5, 0255-3-40 completed survey on 24 June 1992. Documentation: Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-94). Other documentation was inaccessible. No site visits or interviews occurred.

MASS GRAVES:

TEREZIN (II):     US Commission No. CZCE000053

The ghetto cemetery is located 900 m S of the main square. Caretaker: Pamatnik Terezin (see Terezin I). The Jewish ghetto population was 56,717 in September 1942, 34,655 in December 1943, and 11,000 in December 1944, constituting of large ghetto for Middle Europe in 1942. 34,000 persons died here. Ghetto liberation was in 1945. Many remarkable personalities of Czechoslovakia and Europe lived in the ghetto. The landmarked Jewish cemetery originated in December 1941 (the first grave on the original meadow.) The last known Jewish burial was in 1945 for the Orthodox, Conservative, Progressive/Reform, and Neolog inmates and rabbis. The suburban, rural (agricultural) flat land, separate but near cemeteries, has no sign, but has Jewish symbols on gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a hedge or row of trees or bushes and no gate. The approximate size of cemetery is now 0.03 ha. The cemetery has special section with individual tombstones; section "Lane of Nations"; section of Russian military cemetery from WWI; section of Islamic military; and WWI tombstones. The granite finely smoothed and inscribed stones, multi-stone monuments and guard-stone-shaped symbolical stones have no inscriptions or German and Czech inscriptions. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and Russian Orthodox WWI prisoners.

The cemetery contains marked mass graves and 217 unmarked mass graves. Within the limits of the site is crematorium of ghetto. The pre-burial house has a catafalque, mortuary in the town outside of cemetery. The municipality or a regional or national governmental agency owns property used only as a Jewish and others cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and municipal cemetery. The boundaries are larger now than 1939. Frequently, organized Jewish tours or pilgrimage groups, organized individual tours and private visitors stop. This cemetery was not vandalized. Local/municipal authorities, regional/national authorities and Jewish groups within country did the restoration in 1972-1975 as a unified arrangement. Now, authorities a regular caretaker paid by the government occasionally clean or clear and. Moderate threat: uncontrolled access and vandalism.

Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5, 0255-3-40 completed survey on 24 June 1992. Documentation: Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-94); Otokar Votocek and Zdenka Kostkova: Terezin (1980); Ruzena Bubenickova and Ludmila Kubatova and Irena Mala: Tabory utrpeni a smrti (1969); Vestnik ZNO, XI, No.1516. Other documentation was inaccessible. The site was not visited. Custodians of the cemetery (1991) and Pamatnik Terezin (by phone 1992) were interviewed.

Photo courtesy Merle Kastner

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2014 09:59