Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Terezin the Terrible!!

Cremation Oven ~ Terezin

To the Dead ....

"A grave among graves, who can tell it apart,
time has long swept away the dead faces.
Testimonies, so evil and terrible to the heart,
we took with us to these dark rotting places.

Only the night and the howl of the wind
will sit on the graves' corners,
only a patch of grass, a bitter weed
before May bears some flowers..."

Jaroslav Seifert ~ Written in Terezin!!

This camp, although indeed Terrible,  was not a 'Death Camp' like Auschwicz or Treblinka. During World War II the Gestapo used Terezin, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, as a Concentration Camp. To incarcerate a concentration of Prisoners ~ Jews!  Especially Jewish Children!

The majority of the Jews sent there were scholars, professionals, artists and musicians. Inmates were encouraged to lead 'Creative'  lives, and Concerts were even held. Within the camp, parks, grassy areas and flower beds, concert venues and statues were installed to hide the truth ~ The Truth that  most of the inmates were going to be Murdered. This was all part of a Nazi plot to deceive International Red Cross inspectors into believing that Jews were being treated humanely. And Terezin was photographed as a 'Model Camp' & declared 'humane' by the Red Cross in 1944!!

This façade masked the fact that of the 144,000 Jews sent there, about 33,000 died, mostly because of the appalling conditions (hunger, stress, punishment, disease, and an epidemic of typhus at the very end of the war). About 88,000 were deported onwards to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Terezin was liberated on May 9th, 1945 by the Soviet Army. At the time of it's liberation there were 17,247 survivors....

Of  the 15,000 children sent to Terezin,  just 132 survived.  My Mom (Of Blessed Memory) was one of those who survived Terezin the Terrible!!

"When a new child comes
Everything seems strange to him.
What, on the ground I have to lie?
Eat black potatoes? No! Not I!
I've got to stay? It's dirty here!
The floor ~ why, look, it's dirt, I fear!
And I'm supposed to sleep on it?
I'll get all dirty!
Here the sound of shouting, cries,
And oh, so many flies.
Everyone knows flies carry disease.
Oooh, something bit me!
Wasn't that a bedbug?
Here in Terezin, life is hell
And when I'll go home again, I can't yet tell."
(Written by a Terezin Child,  we don't know who)

I do have an album of pictures of Terezin, located North of Prague in the Czech Republic.  I will do a Pictorial Memorial some day this week!!


  1. Poem by Grace Hollander of Blessed Memory:

    Why I?
    Six million and one
    And I'm the one
    The rest are dead
    Before their time
    Before their seed could sprout
    In awful ways
    I do not care to repeat
    Lest other ears
    Do hear
    And turn the plowshares
    Into swords
    And worse.

    Six million and one
    And I'm the
    Why I?
    What am I doing here
    And all the rest are dead?
    Surely there is something to be said
    By me alone
    Something great
    Something to move the world
    To Greatness
    Some message I have to bring.
    The ONE
    from six million and one
    the one ONE

    Why I?
    What's special about me?
    Why was I different from
    Thee and thee and thee
    O six million
    Why was I different
    The one

  2. Toda Raba, Curious Learner .... that is moving, and a beautiful touch!

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