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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Terezinstadt: Nazis vs. Jews

Terezin yard

Technically not a concentration camp, nor a death camp, but in fact a prison for, in the early years of the war, political prisoners the likes of writers, politicos, clergy, homosexuals, etc etc, after 1942 the “small fortress” became the debarkation point for Jews from the nearby ghetto to Nazi death camps east and north, such as Auschwitz or Begen-Belsen.

Terezin shower

The nearby town is in fact Terezin, which shortly into 1940, the population was evacuated so that Hitler’s henchmen could establish the “model” ghetto, within which they filmed propaganda reels expounding how holesomely the displaced Jews were living and being treated. Even the Red Cross was fooled when they toured the town (and nearby prison).

Terezin prison barrack

Meanwhile, humanity’s worst was at work. And meanwhile, Nazi families swam in a pool, watched films in a theater, and one Nazi had a garden wedding within earshot of torture and brutality.

Terezin window_1

Today, Terezin is a working town, but many buildings are historic sites or museums to the ghetto residents. Frankly, the whole town has a creepy feeling to it, when you know, or suddenly realize, that it was a “show town” used by the Nazis to cover up their genocidal mania.

Terezin window

The museums had moving tributes to artists, writers, actors and such who came lived there and produced beautiful work — just before being shipped to their death in a railroad car. Fascimile pieces of sketches, poetry, and musical scores (playing as you wander) highlight the lost artistry wrought by the animal Nazis.

Terezin cemetery

I was glad to get out of there.

Terezin Cross

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