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Holocaust History: Concentration Camps

This LibGuide is a starting point for general research on the concentration camps, with resources on genocide, survivor memoirs, and primary sources.

Brief History

Theresienstadt ghetto and concentration camp were located in Terezín, Czech Republic, in a former military fortress.  Initially, it was established as a ghetto for Czech Jews. Later, it served as a concentration and transit camp for German and Western European Jews. In 1942, SS authorities deported Jews to concentration camps, forced-labor camps, and killing centers. In the camp itself, thousands of people died from disease or starvation. 

In 1944 the Nazis temporarily beautified Theresienstadt to deceive an investigating committee from the International Red Cross to make a  film that pictured the ghetto as a 'spa town' where elderly German Jews could retire. The barracks were removed, houses were painted, and gardens planted, however, this was an elaborate hoax. The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visitors. The facts were very different. Of the approximately 140,000 Jews transferred to Theresienstadt, 33,000 died, and 90,000 were deported; only about 19,000 survived. Children were sent to Theresienstadt. About 15,000 children passed through, and 90 percent of these children perished in the killing center. 


The following summary derived information from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library

Leatherby Libraries