Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Terezin: The "Jewish Resort" Summary: Background information about Terezin Reply-To: email@example.com Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project http://www,nizkor.org Keywords: Terezin Archive/File: camps/theresienstadt/terezin.001 Last-Modified: 1994/01/25 "The small garrison town of Terezin was built between two rivers as a fortress in the 1400's. In 1942 the Germans evacuated its population to make Terezin a concentration camp for Jews, crowding seventy-four thousand people into the space previously occupied by three thousand. During September and October of 1942, twenty thousand people were added. During this time thrity-five thousand people fell ill with dysentery, and thousands died. At the beginning of the Final Solution, Terezin was intended as a holding place for the aged and for some Jewish elite, a show-camp that could be used to assure suspicious international committees that the Jews, uprooted from their normal lives, were living in a resort town while their possible ransoming or other fate was decided. It was promoted by the Germans as an ideal place for old people, 'Theresienbad,' where, in exchange for all their property, the aged could live out the rest of their years in pleasant surroundings. German Jews were heartened by the formal contracts given them in exchange for their possessions. They stepped off the trains, some of them still calling 'Tra"ger' (porter), believing they had bought safety.<1> Sometimes it was not until they were crowded into their quarters that they realized they were prisoners, and that the slim possibility of staying in Terezin and alive depended on their ability to withstand disease, hunger, or slave labor in exchange for rations. In addition, it took luck or influence not to be called up for what the Germans called a transport 'for resettlement to the East,' which meant slave labor or death. Births were forbidden, and women discovered by the German authorities to have given birth were subject to immediate expulsion to the East. Yet 207 children were born in Theresienstadt, 25 of whom survived. Births were disguised by registering the newborn in place of a child that had died. The children who managed to survive experienced the worst conditions just before the end of the war. Transports to the East were increased, which meant more partings. Then in April 1945, groups of children that had been liberated from Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, among other camps, arrived. Within a three-week period, starting in the third week of April, approximately 300 children arrived. They came as skin and bones, carrying typhus, the kind transmitted by lice. Many of them died. Benes, the Czechoslovakian president, sent his personal physician to help.<2>" (Moskovitz, 10,11) End Notes --------- <1> Edith and George Lauer, taped interviews, Pittsburgh, June 1979. <2> Joe Finkelstone, "They Find Refuge in the Lake District," _Carlisle Journal_, August 17, 1945. Work Cited Moskovitz, Sarah. Love Despite Hate: Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Their Adult Lives. New York: Schocken Books, 1983
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