Children's quarters in Theresienstadt

Building L410 was a girls barracks and school where art lessons were taught

Theresienstadt was the designated site for the deportation of Jewish children from the orphanages in the Greater German Reich. Children were also sent to the ghetto with their parents or other relatives. Approximately 10,000 children passed through the Theresienstadt ghetto. The drawings and paintings produced by these children in their art classes is known the world over. Some of their artwork hangs at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Many other Holocaust museums display their work also. The Jewish Museum in Prague has a collection of 4,000 pieces of children's art from Theresienstadt.

Shown in the photo above is Building L410, located next to the Catholic Church on Hauptstrasse, the main street of the ghetto. This was the home for Jewish girls from 8 to 16 years of age. The older girls, aged 14 to 16, had to work during the day, but still took classes at night. The building also had a basement where concert practice took place. It was here that Mrs. Friedl Dicker-Brandejsova gave art lessons.

Under expert supervision, the children were encouraged to express their feelings in their artwork. Some of the drawings that have been preserved show practice sheets where the children were obviously being taught the various elements of drawing. The children depicted their surroundings in the ghetto in their drawings and watercolors, but they also painted what they remembered from their world before they were deported to the camp.

The drawings of the children were not censored by the Nazis, who allowed them free reign to express themselves on paper. Remarkably, the Nazis carefully preserved the children's artwork after the children were deported to the death camp at Auschwitz. Of the approximately 8,000 children who were deported out of Theresienstadt, only a fraction of them ever returned. Their paintings, which now hang all over the world, are a unique memorial to these innocent victims of the Holocaust.

Post office building which was formerly the children's nursery

At the corner of Rathausgasse and Langestrasse, where the bus from Prague stops, I photographed the building, shown above, that is currently the post office in Terezin, but in the former ghetto, it was a home for infants. It also housed a pre-school and a kindergarten.

Some books says there were 207 babies born in the Theresienstadt ghetto, but others say it was 275. All adults up to age 60, and young people over the age of 14, had to work in the Theresienstadt ghetto, so the infants and small children were taken care of in the building shown in the photo above, and returned to their mothers in the evening.

The building for the babies also had space for theater performances in the evening. In addition, there was a bakery and kitchen which supplied the meager food for the Jews who lived in the ghetto. To the right of the post office is the current town hall, which is barely visible in the photo above.

Across Langestrasse, to the west of the bus stop at the current Post Office shown in the photograph above, is a block of buildings which were used as homes for Jewish children in the former ghetto. Some of the buildings in this block were also used for theater and cultural performances and building L216 in this block was the children's library.

Buildings which were used as homes for children in the Theresienstadt ghetto

Another building on Langestrasse, which faces the market square on the west side of the square, is today the Culture House of Terezin, shown in the photograph below. There is also a bus stop in front of this building. During the ghetto days there was a theater here where live performances were given. It was also where the ghetto guard was housed. This was a unit of young male inmates, organized by the Nazis to keep order in the ghetto. Most of them were eventually sent on the transports to the death camps, and they were later replaced by 100 men over forty who made up the new ghetto guard. In addition to their function as killing centers, the death camps had munitions factories where the Nazis sent young able-bodied men from the ghetto because they needed workers for their war effort.

Former location of the Ghettowache (ghetto guard)

The building next to the Ghettowache on Langestrasse, across from the market square, is the Sapper barracks where older Jewish prisoners were housed. The building is shown in the photograph below. There was also an auxiliary hospital here for patients with heart disease and tuberculosis. There were plenty of inmates to staff this hospital, as one out of 7 of the adult males in the ghetto was a doctor. Cultural programs and lectures were given here as well and there was a synagogue in the attic. Today this building is the Social Care Home of Terezin.

Synagogue was located in the attic of this building

Adult's Barracks

Historic Buildings

Art Museum

Map of Ghetto

Walls and Gate

Ghetto Museum

Town Square

Old Buildings

Restaurants and Hotel