In the company of a historian, you will spend your hour car ride to Terezín learning about the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and the steady erosion of civil rights for the Jewish community and other groups in the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. You will learn how the camp’s Jewish inmates organized health care, conducting cultural and secret educational activities. You'll also hear about the crowded conditions in the Jewish ghetto. The duration of this day trip is roughly six to seven hours, including the 1-hour journey from Prague and back, and a lunch or coffee break at a local cafe.
Although Terezín was not an extermination camp, more than 33,000 people (primarily European Jews) perished within its walls during World War II and the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Still another 88,000 individuals were sent from Terezín to Auschwitz and Mauthausen.
In the company of a historian, you will spend your hour drive in a private car or minivan to Terezín learning about the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 and the steady erosion of civil rights for Jews and other groups in the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, until the beginning of the transports that brought the Jews to the overcrowded, unhygienic conditions of the ghetto.
You will learn how the camp’s Jewish inmates managed to organize basic health care and social welfare, conducting cultural and secret educational activities and even holding secret religious services. A great number of professional and amateur artists passed through Terezín and they tried to stay active even after arrival. The Nazis banned any cultural activities at first but later on – in compliance with the decision to use Terezín for propaganda – tolerated them. This led to a camp life of grim paradoxes. Inmates improvised theatrical and musical performances, painted and drew copiously, wrote and even published magazines. One whole building of the memorial is dedicated to the art produced in the ghetto. Your guide will help you understand the various intellectuals, artists and personalities who created such work in such a context.
Some 4,500 drawings by the ghetto children have been preserved and they have a very special place in Terezín’s artistic context. They were hidden in two suitcases by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis before her departure to Auschwitz where she was killed. Dicker-Brandeis had studied at the Weimer Bauhaus and later worked as an artist and textile designer. In the ghetto she organized drawing classes for kids. Out of some 660 authors of the drawings, 550 were murdered in the Shoah.
With careful attention to detail and historical context and sensitivity to the emotional experience of visitors, your guide will help you to move through the Small Fortress, Ghetto Museum, Magdeburg Barracks, Crematorium, Columbarium, Ceremonial Halls and Central Morgue, and a replica of an attic room.