here for the recent pictures of Terezin
TERESIENSTADT BECOMES CONTEMPORARY MUSICAL THEATER
Terezín (Theresienstadt in German), just
north of Prague, Czechoslovakia, was displayed in 1944 as a model
camp to a group from the International Red Cross who were impressed
by prisoners apparently leading a well-organized life, going about
their daily business, buying and selling with a special camp currency
and enjoying cabaret performances and classical concerts.
There was even a band playing on a bandstand in an attractive central square.
But it was all a sham to persuade the world that the rumors of a Holocaust
were unfounded. Although it was not a death camp on a par with Auschwitz, the
conditions at "the paradise ghetto" of Terezin were horrible with overcrowding,
poor food, sanitation and medical care. Of the 140,000 people who were interned
at Terezín, 33,000 died and 87,000 were transported to Nazi death camps elsewhere. The
irony of Terezin was that cultural freedom of the large proportion of artists
was tolerated and Jewish "degenerate music" was performed on handmade and smuggled
instruments. Much of the work was hidden in the attics and cellars of Terezin
and recovered after the Germans left Czechoslovakia and made available after
the opening up of the former Eastern bloc.