On May 6, 1947 the goverment of the Czechoslovak Republic decided to establish a memorial in terezín with the aim of preserving and maintaining the places of suffering in the form they were during the Nazi regime so that they could be a permanet reminder and warning for future generations.
The Terezín Memorial is a state-funded organization of Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and is the only institution of its kind in Czech Republic. Its mission is to preserve the memory of the victims of racial and political persecution during the years of Nazi occupation to develop museum research and educational activities as well as to care for the places associated with the suffering and death of tens of thousands of victims of the reign of violence.
The original name National Suffering Memorial was changed to Terezín Memorial in 1964.
Today, the Terezín Memorial consists of a set of the following individual memorial places, which are located in several places and do not form a complete location:
The Small Fortress
- A tour through the area of the former police prison of the Gestapo is possible. The Museum of the Small Fortress houses the permanent exhibition The Small Fortress Terezín 1940 - 1945, as well as the permanent Art Exhibition of the Terezín Memorial. The Small Fortress also houses the permanent exhibitions Terezín 1780 - 1939, The Concentration Camp Litoměřice 1944 - 1945, The detention camp for the Germans. Small Fortress 1945 - 1948, temporary exhibitions and a cinema. The guides or archive employees can provide you with information.
The Ghetto Museum
- In this building there is a permanent exhibition about the Terezín Ghetto, a cinema, space for temporary exhibitions, as well as a study room and the offices of the department of education where visitors can get specific information.
The National Cemetery
- Established in 1945 for the victims of the Gestapo police prison in the Small Fortress, the Terezín Ghetto and the concentration camp in Litoměřice.
Memorial on the bank of the Ohře River
- In November 1944 the SS ordered prisoners to throw the ashes of about 22 000 victims cremated in the Ghetto Crematorium into the river.
The Park of the Terezín Children
- The park was established to commemorate the youngest Ghetto prisoners, and as a place for remembrance and reflection.
The former Magdeburg Barracks
- During the existence of the Ghetto this was the seat of the Jewish self-government. Today it houses the Meeting Centre, the Theatre in the attic and a reconstruction of a dormitory in the Ghetto, as well as the permanent exhibitions on the diverse parts of the cultural activities in the Ghetto.
The Jewish Prayer Room and reconstruction of the so-called garret (temporary housing facility of the Terezín Ghetto prisoners)
- Located in one of the courtyards of Terezín is a prayer room with wall paintings from the time of the Ghetto. Above it the remains of one of the “closets” were discovered. They were small rooms in the attics of residential and farm buildings in Terezín 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.
The Terezín transports
- Permanent exhibition in the former municipal weighing-house which focuses specifically on the transports, giving visitors a detailed insight into how this system functioned. The building containing the new exhibition is located where there used to be a railway line that played a key role in the transports, giving direct access to the ghetto. The exhibition explains the systems used by the Nazis when transporting Jews from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (and later from other Nazi-occupied territories) to the Terezín ghetto and when dispatching transports onwards from Terezín to the extermination, concentration and slave labour camps – especially to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
- Remains of the railway tracks connecting the Terezín Ghetto and the Bohušovice nad Ohří railway station, preserved in the places where the transports were cleared.
- The ashes of the cremated Ghetto victims were stored in this part of the original fortification.
The Ceremonial Halls and the Central Morgue of the Ghetto
- In these rooms the bodies of the deceased were collected and mourners paid their last respects.
The Jewish Cemetery and the Crematorium
- In the rooms of the Crematorium is a permanent exhibition about mortality and burials in the Ghetto.
Cemetery of Soviet soldiers
- In 1977 the exhumed remains of the 49 Soviet troops who died during the liberation of Czechoslovakia were buried in that cemetery.