The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/theresienstadt/theresien.08

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Theresienstadt & the death toll
Summary: The plight of the elderly victims of the Nazi state's
         callous disregard for human rights discussed by Bondy.
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Keywords: theresienstadt

Archive/File: holocaust/czechoslovakia/theresienstadt theresien.08
Last-Modified: 1994/09/21

   "The old people were quickly crushed. They shrank down to
   skeletons, were plagued by diarrhea, struck down by pneumonia. The
   slightest scratch caused blood poisoning and gangrene; the lack of
   vitamins led to night blindness. In fall and winter they went for
   days without removing their clothes. The lice brought to the ghetto
   by old people from Vienna quickly spread, consumed them, and
   paraded across their sheets and pillows. The elderly were taken to
   the disinfection center and died of cold. Many simply burned out,
   for lack of strength, lack of will to go on fighting.

   At the start of the ghetto, the names of the dead were published in
   the daily ordinance, but as the number of deaths increased,
   reaching 130 per day, it became impossible to continue this
   practice. The peak month was September 1943: almost 19,000 people
   arrived at the ghetto, 13,000 were sent east, and almost 4,000
   deaths were recorded. Sometimes the young people tried to preserve
   their strength by consciously ignoring the old and living in a
   separate world.

   The Germans emptied every Jewish hospital and mental institution
   throughout the Reich and shipped the inmates to Theresienstadt.
   When nurse Trude Groag arrived at the ghetto with a transport from
   Olmu"tz that included a group of mentally ill people, she asked
   Edelstein at the train station if there was a mental institution in
   the ghetto. Edelstein replied that there were a few small ones, but
   on the whole the mentally ill were sent to Poland. 'And there?' she
   wanted to know. Yesef shrugged his shoulders without elaborating."
   (Bondy, 299-300)

                             Work Cited

   Bondy, Ruth.  Elder of the Jews.  New York: Grove Press, 1989.
   (Translated from "Edelshtain neged had-zeman".  Zmora, Bitan,
   Modan, publishers, 1981

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