Terezin Things to Do Tips by alancollins Top 5 Page for this destination
Terezin Things to Do: 46 reviews and 100 photos
Terezin lies on the old road from Berlin to Prague. During the 1780s the main fort was built by the Habsburgs to defend their northern border against the Prussians. At the same time the small fort which was used as a military prison was built on the other side of the River Ohre. The forts could accommodate nearly 15,000 troops and hundreds of prisoners. Up to the second world war the most famous prisoner had been the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip who shot Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo and this action sparked the first world war. In October 1941 Reinhard Heydrich and other top Nazis decided to turn Terezin into a Jewish Ghetto. The local population of 3,500 people were moved out and within a year 60,000 Jews were living in this small space. The overcrowding caused the death rate to dramatically rise especially amongst the elderly who found it difficult to cope with their new situation. Terezin was used as a deception by the Nazis to show their compassion towards the Jews. The number of inmates were lowered when an inspection was due by the Swiss Red Cross and the whole town was spruced up to appear normal and hide the true purpose of the Ghetto which was as a holding camp for the Jews before being shipped to Auschwitz. 140,000 Jews passed through the camp during the war but only 17,500 survived.
If you wish to visit all the museums as well as viewing the buildings around the town it will take a full day. There are various charges for admission. A single ticket will get you into either the main museum or the small fort as well as the Magdeburg Barracks and cost 160CZK for an adult. A combined ticket will get you into all three museums and costs 200CZK. It does cost anything to view the buildings and other sites around the town. If you intend to visit the crematorium and Jewish Cemetery (closed on Saturdays), the men should try to bring a hat or cap to cover their heads, though kippahs are available in the crematorium. The main museum has various exhibitions which tell the history of the Ghetto during its 4 year history. The Maddeburg Barracks concentrate on the artistic life of the Ghetto and the cramped living conditions. The small fort includes a guided tour if you wish to take it, of the forts history and its use as a prison during the war. There is a large cemetery laid out at the front of the small fort.
Between the main and small forts there is a memorial that receives few visitors. If you have visited the Columbarium and Mortuary you will know that the ashes of those that had died were stored for later interment. The Nazis did not keep their promises and at the location of this memorial, the ashes of 22,000 Jewish Victims were thrown into the River Ohre. If you walk from the large fort towards the small fort the road bends to the right. There is a small road to the left at the apex of the bend. The memorial is about 500 metres down the track by the river.
Railway Siding at Terezin
There is a railway siding at Terezin that was used to transport people from Terezin to the east. 63 transport trains left for the east carrying 87,000 people. Their real location was the death camp at Auschwitz and only 3,800 people survived. The railway siding was built by the prisoners as an extension into the Ghetto from the main railway line.
The square was always fenced off to prisoners during the second world war. During a visit by the Red Cross it was opened up and used as a park. As part of the deception a football match was staged and was filmed, with happy crowds looking on. Shops were suddenly full of goods for the day. The deception worked and the Red Cross concluded that life was acceptable. A further visit by the Red Cross went exactly the same. A place to sit and reflect.
Directions: Opposite the Town Hall
Phone: 00420-416 782 225
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