Theresienstadt: a case study

Map of Europe showing Czechoslovakia and highlighting Theresienstadt.

Established by the Nazis on 24 November 1941, Thereinstadt (Terezin in Czech) was situated some 50 kilometres north of Prague in Czechoslovakia.

Theresienstadt was neither a ghetto or a camp, having features of both. It had three main purposes:

  • A transit camp for Czech Jews before being deported to Nazi forced labour camps and extermination camps in the east.
  • A ghetto in which the Nazis held prisoner Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to hide the fact that they were being sent to thir deaths.
  • A camp in which the Nazis held Jews deported from across Europe before sending them to the death camps.

Theresienstadt was operable for three and a half years until being liberated by the Soviet Army on 9 May 1945. By September 1942, the ghetto population peaked at 54,004.