Author: Mgr. Jana Švarcová
In September 1942 the Gestapo carried out what it called its Operation E (Aktion Emigranten), a spate of mass arrests of the family members and relatives of the Czech politicians and soldiers in exile. These were mainly their wives, children over 17 years of age, parents under 70 years and siblings. The Svatobořice Detention Camp in south Moravia was established for the incarceration of such people. The first inmates were deported to the camp as early as on September 17, 1942. Most of the prisoners were gradually released or moved to other repressive facilities, e.g. to the Gestapo Police Prison in the Small Fortress in Terezín or to the Terezín Ghetto. According to some estimates, by May 1945 up to 3,500 people passed through the Svatobořice Detention Camp.
The primary source for compiling the database of the inmates of the Svatobořice Detention Camp was the collection called “Internační tabor Svatobořice” kept in the Moravian Regional Archives in Brno. This collection comprises registration cards of the imprisoned persons and other documents describing the daily regime and living conditions in the camp. At the moment, as many as 2,504 persons are registered in the database.
The database of the inmates of the Svatobořice Detention Camp (1942-1945) will be continuously updated and supplemented as a result of the ongoing research of further archival documents.