This place is amazing and in more ways than one. It is a fortress city built by the Austrians between 1780-90 to defend the Czech areas of their boarder against the Prussians. It was never attacked by Prussia, but instead used as a prison for the Austrians and later turned into a concentration camp by the Nazis. As a prison, it held political prisoners and ever Principe, the man who assassinated Arch Duke Ferdinand and his wife sparking the First World War. His cell, where he stayed for two years before being sent to a hospital for tuberculosis was this tiny room with no heating or cooling system. What horrible living conditions, but they in no way compare to how bad the Jews who were imprisoned here had it.
Terezin was by no means a death camp, but rather a transition camp. Jews would be brought here for in-processing before being sent to another work or death camp.
However, many thousands died from starvation, disease, and execution. In front of the small fortress, the actual concentration camp of Terezin
, is a cemetery with thousands of graves from only some of the people who died here. Others were incinerated at the crematory. The large fortress, was the Ghetto, where many of the Jews lived in the houses there, before being shipped out else where.
I only spent a few hours there, because of the bus schedule, but it was enough to get an eerie feeling, like treading on someone's grave. The place also had a smell to it, that I could not place, but which added to the eerie feeling.