Czech Republic

Terezin

With the greater part of the Czech Tourism Industry focused on distant centuries it's important to be aware how profoundly the horrors of the Twentieth Century marked the country.

TerezinGestapo Prison and Concentration Camp

Originally built by the Emperor Joseph II and named in honour of his mother Maria Theresa, the Theresienstadt garrison town was commandeered by the Nazis from 1940 as a Gestapo prison and ghetto/camp for Czech Jews. Although it was not an extermination camp 35,000 people died in the camp through malnutrition, overcrowding, and brutality, while 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz. Today Terezin is a huge living monument-complex to those who died in horrific circumstances, providing a detailed insight into their incarceration, and is an invaluable, though highly dignified, educational tool. The cramped dimensions of isolation cells can be experienced inside the 'Small Fortress' along with the similarly minimal 'Common Rooms' for women prisoners. Inside the walls of the 'Large Fortress' one can walk down the streets of the ghetto, and later perhaps pay one's respects to the people who suffered here in the Jewish and Christian cemeteries.

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