Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Theresienstadt Followup-To: alt.revisionism Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project http://www,nizkor.org Keywords: Theresienstadt,Terezin,Rahm Archive/File: camps/theresienstadt/theresien.01 Last-Modified: 1994/09/20 "Theresienstadt (Terezin), a sleepy little Czech town, half military, half civilian, is located about forty miles from Prague. A picture-book community of about 7,000 inhabitants, it was named for the eighteenth-century empress of Austria, Maria Theresa. The Nazis chose it as the site for a special purpose prison rather than a concentration camp, an excercise, as it were, in Nazi public relations. Soon after the Nazis revealed their plans for the site, the Germans abruptly evicted the entire native population, most of whom could trace their ancestral roots to the eighteenth century. A narrow area of less than a square mile was enclosed as a detention center. In a 1941 document it was announced that `privileged people' who were to be interned for security reasons would be held in Theresienstadt -- elderly men and women of distinction, decorated veterans of World War I, Jewish partners in mixed marriages and of high social standing, bureaucrats who had held high office, artists, journalists, musicians, noted church figures. Here were sent internationally respected prisoners thought by the Germans to have hostage value. It was not emphasized that 90 percent or more of those held at Theresienstadt were Jews, and the majority came from a cross section of the Czech, Dutch, German, and Danish communities. Many Jews were deceived by the propaganda that Theresienstadt was a privileged internment center. Families about to be deported prayed to be routed there, as to a sanctuary. By the fall of 1942, 59,000 deportees had been jammed into quarters that may have been tolerable for 10,000. Then began the routine dispatch of prisoners east to Auschwitz and other death camps, at first in groups of a few hundred, ultimately in convoys of thousands. New arrivals continuously replaced the departed doomed. The commandants, as usual, had criminal records. The last of them, Karl Rahm, a mechanic in earlier civilian life, soon disabused his charges of the idea that Theresienstadt was reserved for the privileged. To be sure, there were neighter gas chambers nor crematoria there. But as the crowding increased, the facilities for daily living became ever more inadequate and degrading. Elderly people, often from comfortable backgrounds, were compelled to wait in line for hours for access to lavatoris that could not be kept even moderately tidy for the traffic they had to bear. The food could hardly be digested, even by the starving." "...only 100 of the 15,000 children under the age of fifteen who passed through Theresienstadt survived the war." Extracted from--------------------------------------------------- "THE REDEMPTION OF THE UNWANTED", Abram L. Sachar (New York: St. Martin's/Marek, 1983. -----------------------------------------------------------------
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