Terezin (Theresianstadt)

Czech Republic

One of the most unusual of the camps, Terezin is a garrison town built in the 18th century northwest of Prague. It consists of the Great Fortress and the nearby Small Fortress. The Nazis forced the residents of the town to leave in the early 1940s then turned it into a so-called “model ghetto” for the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as for prominent German Jews. An elaborate ruse was created for the Red Cross delegation that visited the camp on June 23, 1944. The delegation only spent a few hours at the camp and apparently did not discover that, for the vast majority of Jews sent there, Terezin was merely a temporary stop before being deported to Auschwitz or one of the other killing centers.

Today the Great Fortress is again a Czech city with a Holocaust Museum and exhibitions in the Magdeburg Barracks. The Small fortress is a historical museum and memorial.