Theresienstadt: Memorandum regarding management of the camp

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minutes of a meeting held between Ing. Georg Vogel and Major Kusmin, 1945, concerning the repatriation of some Czech nationals which Kusmin authorised on receipt of medical certificates and a statement that they are free of lice. The remaining minutes deal with applications for food and clothing and the need for more disinfectors following the removal of the Russian ones.

Administrative / Biographical History

On June 10, 1940, the Gestapo took control of Terezìn (Theresienstadt), a fortress, built in 1780-1790 in what is now the Czech Republic, and set up prison in the Small Fortress (Kleine Festung). By 24 November 1941, the Main Fortress (grosse Festung, ie the town Theresienstadt) was turned into a walled ghetto. The function of Theresienstadt was to provide a front for the extermination operation of Jews. To the outside it was presented by the Nazis as a model Jewish settlement, but in reality it was a concentration camp. Theresienstadt was also used as a transit camp for European Jews en route to Auschwitz and other extermination camps.

After the German surrender the small fortress was used as an internment camp for ethnic Germans. The first prisoners arrived on the May 10, 1945. On February 29, 1948 the last German prisoners were released and the camp was officially closed. In the first phase of the camp lasting until July 1945 mortality was high due to diseases, malnutrition and incidents of simple outright murder. Commander of the camp in that period was Stanislav Franc, who had been a prisoner of the camp under the Nazis since 1944. He was guided by a spirit of revenge and tolerated any mistreatment of the prisonsers by the guards.

In July 1945 the camp shifted under the control of the Czech ministry for domestic affairs. The new commander appointed was Otakar Kàlal. From 1946 on the inmates were gradually transferred to Germany and Terezìn more and more turned into a hub for the forced migration of Germans from the Czech lands into Germany proper.

Arrangement

N/A

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

Jewish Central Information Office

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Personal Names