Terezín and 100,000

Trip Start Mar 06, 2013
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5
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Trip End Mar 16, 2013


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What I did
Terezin
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our first morning up early so we could take a day trip to Terezin. We hired a car and driver to take us.

Our first stop was at the Lesser Fortress, a Czech fort converted to a prison camp by the Germans in WWII. Horrific numbers of people died at the camp because of the overcrowding, lack of nutrition and work conditions. The cemetery outside the fortress sets the tone for what is inside. We took a tour of the place, which was provided with the entry fee.

Our next stop was the Terezin Museum. Here we saw about life in the Terezin Ghetto, which started as a Jewish settlement, then became a ghetto and finally, a concentration camp. Terezin was a vibrant community, full of life, even in the hardest days. What was most remarkable was how the adults protected the children from the harsh realities, allowing the children to remain children, at least until they were transported off to one of the death camps.

T. was getting pretty cranky by then. After a brief pit stop to refuel, we took a walk through town. Our final site was to the Jewish Cemetery and crematorium on the outskirts of the town. The place has a holy feel to it. The curator gave us brief tour and we walked about the grounds imagining all the things that lead to the deaths of so many.

After returning to Prague, we decided to check out the Pinkus Synagogue and the Old Jewish Cemetery. The synagogue held the names of all the Jews who had died during the war. All areas of the Czech Republic were represented on its walls.

The cemetery was astoundingly beautiful with mossy, crowded headstones in layers upon layers, holding the bodies of 100,000. It is the only cemetery I've ever seen that has build one layer of graves upon another and then another and then another.

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