Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac - Terezin: Children's Transports Summary: The transport of children from the Bialystok ghetto to the "resort town" of Terezin described, and their fate discussed by two survivors of the Auschwitz death camp Reply-To: email@example.com Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Nizkor Project http://www,nizkor.org Keywords: Auschwitz,Bialystok,Terezin Lines: 132 Archive/File: camps/theresienstadt/terezin.002 Last-Modified: 1994/01/25 "Some children arrived in Terezin without parents, packed into trains manned by Reichsbahn (national railroad) civil servants, who processed children as readily as freight. The SS with whom they contracted this work was charged only half-fare for children, and those under two went free of charge, as usual.<6> Here is how an eyewitness described the arrival of a large children's transport: Transports of children from many countries came to Theresienstadt. So on August 24, 1943, 1260 children. They were frightened and speechless, many barefoot, all in a sorry state and half starved. Insofar as any had possessions, they clutched their small suitcases or prayerbooks. They were not received into the main camp but were immediately separated from the other prisoners. They were taken to the West barracks surrounded by barbed wire. Police patrolled this children's quarters so as not to permit anyone near. From the main camp a group of caretakers and a doctor were appointed who from then on were not to have anything more to do with the main camp. These children had come from Bialystok* and had seen everything that Jews could suffer. They were taken immeidately in groups to a disinfection batch where they made terrible scenes. These children knew of gas chambers and would not set foot in the bath area. They screamed desperately 'no, no, not gas!' They would not obey the SS men. Consequently they were pushed in by force. They cried and clung to each other. We who saw this were beside outselves but we had been forbidden to speak to them under threat of death.... Before their departure from Bialystok they were lined up in a place and divided into three groups: men, women and children up to age 14. Fathers, mothers and older brothers and sisters were then shot before their eyes.<7> The fate of this same transport of children is reported by Kraus and Kulka, survivors of Auschwitz. After several weeks in Terezin the 1260 children who had arrived from Bialystok in August, 1943, could be heard singing in the West Barracks of the Terezin camp. Then a rumor began to spread that they were being got ready for an exchange with children from abroad. Sure enough after six weeks, orders came that they were to leave. By now they were thoroughly fit. Fifty-three men and women were selected to accompany them, all of them required to give a written statement that they would not spread any propaganda hostile to the Nazis when they were abroad. The inmates of Terezin saw them off with every good wish for the future. They were convinced the children would soon be at liberty. The convoy left Terezin October 5, 1943. It went to Auschwitz, where all the children and all the adults ended up in the gas chamber.<8> ... Fifty-eight thousand people died in Terezin. Fifteen thousand children had passed through the Terezin death funnel. ...one hundred.... survived." (Moskovitz, 12-13) * Deportation statistics for the Bialystok district are available from the Holocaust archives at oneb.almanac.bc.ca. To obtain a list of relevant deportation files, send the command INDEX REINHARD to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yitzak Arad provides background information: "The Bialystok General District ... constituted an independent administrative district within the German regime in occupied Poland... During the first months of the German occupation ... the Jewish population ... suffered a wave of mass murders.... 31,000 Jews, mostly men, were shot by the Einsatzgruppen near their homes. On the eve of mass deportations to Treblinka and Auschwitz, in the autumn of 1942, there were about 210,000 Jews in the district, concentrated in ghettos. ... In the first half of October 1942, the Reich Security Main Office issued an order to local SS authorities in the Bialystok General District to liquidate all the ghettos in the district and deport the Jews. But after the intervention of the German army and German civilian authorities that employed Jewish labor in war-economy enterprises, it was decided that the liquidation of the Bialystok ghetto would be postponed.
The deportation fo the Jews from the Bialystok district to Treblinka and, in part, to Auschwitz commenced after the deportation of most of the General Government Jews had been completed. It began in mid-October 1942, and continued until mid-February 1943. ... At the end of this period, only 30,000 Jews from the entire General District remained in the Bialystok ghetto." (Arad) Moskovitz' End Notes: <6> Raul Hilberg, "Confronting Moral Implications of the Holocaust," keynote address at the Holocaust Conference, Jewish Federation Council, Los Angeles, Sunday, April 9, 1978. <7> H.G. Adler, 'Theresienstadt, 1941-1945. Das Antlitz einer Zwangsgemeinschaft' (Tublingen: Verlag J. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1955). <8> O. Kraus and E. Kulka, "The Death Factory: Documents on Auschwitz 1966" (New York: Pergamon Press, 1966), pp. 116-17. Work Cited Arad, Yitzhak. BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA - the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7 Moskovitz, Sarah. Love Despite Hate: Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Their Adult Lives. New York: Schocken Books, 1983
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