"One Pole tried to escape, he was recaptured the following day, I think. He was tied to a post in the barracks for 48 hours; he died."
- Václav Pařízek, Recollection No. 185 -

The old website you can find at http://archive.pamatnik-terezin.cz (till the end of 2017)

Due to the necessary restoration of exhibitions the operation of the Ghetto Museum will be on November 20 - 21 and 27 - 30 partially limited. We apologize for any inconvenience!

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Terezín Memorial and its projects (etc...)

Permanent exhibitions Small Fortress

From 1940 to 1945 the Small Fortress served as the prison of the Prague Gestapo. In 1994 a new permanent exhibition was opened here, devoted to the history of the political prison; it bears witness to the persecution of the Czech nation under the Nazi regime during the Second World War, and records the fates of Czech prisoners transferred to other concentration camps within the Nazi German Reich.

Permanent exhibitions:

  • The Small Fortress 1940-1945
  • The Terezín Memorial art exhibition "Art against fascism and war"
  • Terezín 1780-1939
  • The prisoner's laundry
  • The Litoměřice Forced Labour Camp 1944-1945
  • Milada Horáková 1901-1950
  • The perpetrators of crimes. The SS Repressive Staff in Terezín and Litoměřice 1940 – 1945.
  • Kamila Ženatá: Lamentation
  • The Internment Camp for Germans – the Small Fortress 1945-1948

The Small Fortress exhibition spaces are used for short-term exhibitions, documentary films are shown in the cinema, and a variety of brochures, books, videocassettes and souvenirs are on sale.

More about the history

Permanent exhibitions Ghetto Museum

To mark the 50th anniversary of the start of deportations of Jews from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the first permanent exhibition on the history of the Terezín Ghetto was opened in the former municipal school in Terezín in the fall of 1991. In this way, efforts for a dignified commemoration of the Ghetto victims and correct explanation of its history, tasks facing not only the employees of the Terezín Memorial together with the former inmates but also other representatives of the country’s public life, finally come to fruition after more than forty years. The Museum’s newly conceived permanent exhibition entitled ”Terezín in the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question '1941 – 1945“ was inaugurated in 2001. In addition to this documentary exhibition, which forms the backbone of the Museum, we can also find here a Memorial Hall of the Terezín Ghetto’s Children, devoted to its youngest victims, plus a selection from the world-famous drawings made by children from the Ghetto, a scale model of the Ghetto with an electronic orientation system showing its individual thematic units and with relevant information for visitors, for the local reading room and the cinema where documentary films are screened.

Permanent exhibition:

  • Terezín in the Final Solution, 1941-1945

The Ghetto Museum also presents short-term exhibitions, documentary films are shown in the cinema, and a variety of brochures, books, videocassettes and souvenirs are on sale.

For more information about the history go to the Historical overwiev.

Permanent exhibitions Magdeburg Barracks

The so-called Ghetto, a concentration camp for Jewish prisoners from the then Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, later also from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia and Hungary, was established in Terezín on November 24, 1941. After the Nazi occupation of the Czech lands, the Magdeburg Barracks, as the former Jan Jiskra of Brandýs Barracks were originally known, played a particularly important role in the Ghetto. The Barracks housed the offices of the different departments of the Ghetto’s so-called Jewish Self-administration, as well as flats of some of the Ghetto’s leading office holders. But the Magdeburg Barracks were also known as a venue of major cultural events, divine services, lectures and meetings. Its cardinal wartime importance was eventually reflected in a plan to reconstruct the entire building and use it for museological and educational purposes. The museological section of the building is primarily devoted to presenting, as truthfully as possible, the actual cultural life of the Ghetto inmates, whose true nature had been often distorted in the past.

The transports coming to Terezín in the years 1941–1945 brought in many leading lights from different cultural domains. On the other hand, there was a great hunger for cultural activities among the Ghetto inmates. This, in turn, was conducive to the promotion of a broad range of cultural pursuits, incomparable – in terms of their concentration and artistic standards – with any other place in the war-ravaged Europe at that time. All things considered, a death sentence already had been passed over all the prisoners, and that was why both the active participants and performing artists as well as organizers of such cultural programs were given a free hand and relative leeway.

The task to prepare cultural events was assigned to the Jewish Self-administration, which organized concerts, theater performances, a rich offer of lectures and other programs. The Ghetto’s cultural life proceeded, just as any other activities in Terezín, under the enduring threat of transports that kept carrying away both protagonists and spectators of such cultural events to places of annihilation or slave labor.

Only very few participants and eyewitnesses of the wartime cultural events in the Ghetto lived to see the end of WW II. Those who did then tried hard to preserve the cultural legacy of the Terezín Ghetto as a testimony to the spiritual resistance of the victims of the Nazi genocide. The fascinating story of this unique chapter in Europe’s cultural history constitutes a message that is known to address also present-day people with a particularly strong impact.

The entire first floor is reserved for permanent exhibitions connected with the topics treated in the main display in the Ghetto Museum. A reconstructed dormitory of the inmates from the time of the Ghetto is situated in the left part of the exhibition floor, offering an example of mass accommodation of prisoners in a typical Terezín barracks. The neighboring room houses an exhibition called ”Music in the Terezín Ghetto“, highlighting not only the importance of music for the life of the Ghetto inmates but also the key personalities of its musical life. Part of the exhibition is a study nook for people keen on gaining a deeper insight into the subjects on display. In the remaining exhibition premises, visitors may view an exhibition called ”Art in the Terezín Ghetto“. This presents both works of art created by the best-known artists who stayed in the Ghetto as well as works by lesser-known authors. In their entirety, the exhibits provide a reliable testimony and a vivid picture of the life, hopes and anxieties of the Ghetto inmates.

The exhibitions called ”Literary Work in the Terezín Ghetto“ and ”Theater in the Terezín Ghetto“ are installed in the right section of the exhibition floor. The latter display is found at the end of the corridor, opposite the reconstructed dormitory from the time of the Ghetto, where the sightseeing tour of the Museum exhibitions started. Employing specific scenic effects, this display succeeds in conjuring up the atmosphere of the life of the inmates imprisoned in the Ghetto. In this way, the visitors seem to be returning to the Ghetto at the end of their sightseeing tour.

The whole complex of exhibitions comes complete with the latest display called ”Truth and Lies“, which is devoted to the filming of Nazi propaganda documentaries in the Terezín Ghetto. This is situated in the first courtyard of the building.

Permanent exhibitions:

  • Replica of a prison dormitory from the Ghetto period
  • Music in the Terezín Ghetto
  • Art in the Terezín Ghetto
  • Literary works in the Terezín Ghetto
  • Theatre in the Terezín Ghetto
  • Truth and Lies. Filming in the Terezín ghetto 1942 – 1945

For more information about the history go to the Historical overwiev.

Permanent exhibitions Columbarium

Opened on October 16, 2001.

After the Crematorium in the Jewish Cemetery launched its operation it was necessary to find space for laying the ashes of the thousands of victims. A solution was found in the establishment of the Ghetto’s Columbarium in the casemates of the nearby lunette, part of assembly point XXVII of the Main Fortress. Originally wooden and later only paper cinerary urns were placed on the shelves in those premises.

Access road to the Columbarium started with a passageway in the bottleneck of the redoubt of ravelin XVI, known at the time of the Ghetto as Block A III, which housed the medical library with a reading room and the Columbarium offices. It continued through the so-called dry ditch between the redoubt and the rampart of ravelin XVI to the passageway over whose gate hung the Hebrew inscription “taf-shin-dalet“, i.e. Jewish year 5704, according to the Christian tradition the period from September 1943 to September 1944. The passageway opened out into the dry ditch in front of rallying point XXVII.

At the time of the so-called beautification project preparing the Ghetto for a visit of a foreign delegation, a stone pylon topped with a jug-shaped vase was erected in the bottleneck of the lunette of assembly point XXVII. On both sides of the pylon there were entrances to the covered galleries of the lunette, leading to the Columbarium situated in its casemates. A metal strip on the base of the pylon bore the Hebrew inscription “And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces...“ (Book of Isaiah 25,8).

The space near the pylon was called the Memorial Site of the Columbarium. Order of the day of the Ghetto’s Self-administration on October 20, 1943 allowed the inmates access to the place, but not to the Columbarium itself. Order of the day on January 13, 1944 fixed the specific period of access to the site between 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. daily with the exception of Saturdays.

During the process of covering up the traces of the crimes committed by the Nazis, the Columbarium was cleared away in November 1944, which had to be done by the inmates within several days. A smaller number of the cinerary urns (about 3,000) were buried near the concentration camp in Litoměřice and a larger part (some 22,000) were thrown into the river Ohře, while the empty urns were then burnt.

Permanent exhibition:

  • Exequies in the Ghetto and the Central Morgue

For more information about the history go to the Historical overwiev.

Permanent exhibitions Crematorium

The crematorium at the Terezín Jewish Cemetery was built by ghetto prisoners by order of the SS commanders. Its operation was launched at the beginning of October 1942. The central part of the facility comprised four oil-powered incinerators supplied by Ignis Hüttenbau from Teplice-Šanov. The front section served as a space for unloading the corpses from coffins. On one side it bordered with the autopsy room, on the other there was an annex that housed the guards made up of Czech police officers and prisoners working at the crematorium. At the time of the highest mortality rate, there were up to eighteen prisoner workers who rotated in permanent shifts. Whenever the mortality rate dropped, the number of workers decreased to four. The crematorium was supervised by SS-Scharführer Heindl, one of the camp's feared top officers, yet routine checks were carried out by the camp commanders as well.

Corpses were placed in the incinerators without coffins, resting only on the bottom board they were attached to. This meant that the coffin lids could be used repeatedly. Autopsies were conducted on some of the bodies before cremation so that imprisoned doctors could determine the cause of death in case it was not clear.

Workers operating the incinerators tried to get all the human remains out individually and place them properly in the urns. An especially difficult task, some had to pick out fragments of gold from the ashes and broken dentures, and hand them to the SS oficers.

Cremation records were kept in daily logs; each urn listed basic information about the deceased that were copied from a card attached to the foot of the deceased. They included the name, transport number and cremation number. Urns were first stored in the back section of the crematorium and then transported to the columbarium, located in the casemates of the fortification embankment opposite the funeral ceremony rooms and the central mortuary. Thousands of urns were placed in shelves there, as SS officers wanted to make the prisoners believe that the remains would receive proper burial after the war.

It was not only victims from the ghetto who were cremated here. Dead prisoners from the nearby police prison of the Small Fortress were also brought to the crematorium. Prison guards accompanying the transport supervised these cremations and were careful not to let the prisoners working at the crematorium catch a glimpse of the bodies. However, blood seeping from the coffins and sacks holding the bodies was clear evidence of the fact that the victims died a violent death.

From 1944 - 1945, the crematorium also burned dead bodies from the Litoměřice concentration camp that had a high mortality due to horrifying working conditions and epidemics. From the beginning of April 1945 the concentration camp started using its own crematorium.

Records kept by the crematorium workers noted approx. 30,000 victims, cremated from 1942 to 1945.

Permanent exhibition:

  • Deaths and burials in the Terezín Ghetto

For more information about the history go to the Historical overwiev.

Permanent exhibitions Prayer room & attic

Prayer room from the time of the Terezín ghetto

A pride of place among the premises for worshipping during the existence of the Terezín Ghetto was held by the Jewish prayer room situated in today’s Dlouhá Street, which was discovered in the early 1990s. In terms of decoration, namely its professionally rendered murals and texts, this is unique among all the similar premises used as prayer rooms in the former Ghetto.

Replica of Attic 

Mass quarters in former barracks served as the most typical accommodation of the Terezin ghetto. One of these quarters in the building of the former Magdeburg barracks has been reconstructed and made open to the public. A few years ago, the Terezin Memorial acquired a new building at No. 17 Dlouha street in Terezin. There, in a former farm house of one of the typical town courtyards, is a chapel from the ghetto times with partly preserved original drawings and inscriptions on the ceiling and walls. While exploring the unused attic of the building, the remains of one of the “closets” were discovered. They were small rooms in the attics of residential and farm buildings in Terezin converted into emergency housings of a minimum size and providing a small group of prisoners with at least a little of privacy. In this case, it was undoubtedly a dwelling of craftsmen, who were concentrated in the building and worked in the nearby central ghetto workshops. Fortunately, this emergency residential space above the chapel was not rebuilt later on and could be turned back into a space similar to that of the ghetto times. That way visitors can get an idea about another possible accommodation in the overcrowded ghetto.

More about the history of ghetto

Permanent exhibitions Auschwitz

The message of the Czech exhibition in Auschwitz is to show the mechanism of deportations from the former Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia to Auschwitz on the background of then situation in the country, above all in the context of the occupational politics of Nazi Germany.

Permanent exhibitions Ravensbrück

In 1993, the Terezín Memorial was commissioned to build and administer the Czech Republic’s official exhibitions abroad, namely in Ravensbrück and Oświęcim (Auschwitz). The exhibition in Ravensbrück was prepared and opened to the public in 1995.