History of Terezin

Thank you for taking the time to visit Butterflies in the Ghetto, a blog that is dedicated to sharing the stories of the many incredibly talented artists, writers and musicians who were imprisoned by the Nazis in the Terezin ghetto and concentration camp.

Terezin motif collage by Margit Gerstmannova (1931-1944)
Terezin motif collage by Margit Gerstmannova

Terezin is a garrison town about an hour’s drive from Prague, and during World War II the Nazis used the town as a ghetto. It is estimated that 144,000 European Jews were sent to Terezin, primarily from Czechoslovakia, and about 88,000 were later deported to Auschwitz, including thousands of children. Terezin was notable in that the Nazis sent many Jewish intellectuals, artists and musicians there, and these remarkable individuals continued to create during their time in the camp, in spite of the terrible conditions, the hunger, disease and constant fear of transports that they had to endure. Among the artists and poets were children and teenagers, and thanks to the efforts of several brave individuals, some of their poems and drawings survive to this day.

If you are a teacher or Holocaust educator, I invite you to visit my Resources for Educators section, where I highlight valuable resources for teaching children and young adults about the Holocaust. I have learned that the Holocaust is an extremely difficult subject to teach to students who are far removed from that time. I am committed to providing support and techniques for teachers and Holocaust educators, and I am eager to hear your feedback on the challenges you face and on what resources are helpful to you. I also hope you will sign up for my mailing list to receive even more resources and inspiration for educators. Together, we can effectively teach the next generation about the Holocaust, and promote empathy and tolerance.

“Terezin motif” from Krizkova, Marie R., Kotouc, Kurt J. & Ornest, Zdenek. We Are Children Just the Same: Vedem, the Secret Magazine of the Boys of Terezin. The Jewish Publication Society, 1995. Print. Used with permission.