Terezin is also known as "Theresienstadt". It is a defensive complex founded in 1780 by Joseph II, the son of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa and named after her. It is the terrible history of the town - first under the Habsburgs and then under the Nazis - which made this place so notorious. It was described by its survivors as the waiting room to hell - full of music and art, full of hope and yet...
All our guides are extremely well-trained in the comprehensive history of the tragic events.
Upon our arrival we will pass the National Cemetery located in front of the Small Fortress. This part used to be one of the most important military and political prisons in the Habsburg Empire. Many rebels and leaders of the nationalist-liberation struggles were jailed here. The well-known are the assassins of Franz Fredinand d`Este in 1914 in Sarajevo. The Gestapo used this place since June 1940 and 32 thousand inmates saw the chilling and ironic words „ARBEIT MACHT FREI“ and these are still written above the entrance.
A ghetto, the holding camp for Jews, was founded in the Big Fortress in November 1941. Only for the propaganda reasons, the Nazis permitted a relatively flourishing cultural life in the ghetto. Firstly, we go to see the Museum, where paintings drawn by the children are displayed. Over four thousand of them have been preserved! Afterwards, we will watch the very interesting “propaganda” movie filmed in Terezin to the order of the NAZI leader Goebles in 1941. The picture presented by Nazis is in a sharp contrast to the reality of the camp where each fifth inmate died and from which about 87 thousand prisoners were deported to Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek concentration camps.
The other part of the exhibition shows how the permanently crowded camp functioned. You will learn about the work of medical staff, teachers and administration clerks. Next, we will drive through the town, passing among barracks close to the railroad tracks. In the end of our tour, we will see the Jewish cemetery and Crematorium.