Barracks in Theresienstadt ghetto

Bodenbach Barracks, aka Podmokly barracks

Far end of Podmokly barracks building, built in 1792

During World War II, when the Jews of the Greater German Reich were sent to the former military garrison in Theresienstadt, they were housed in eleven former barracks buildings used by the Austrian soldiers in the 18th century.

The photograph above, taken in 2000, shows the Podmokly barracks, which the Germans called the Bodenbach barracks; in the background is the bastion on the north side. There was a metal barrier in front of the bastion, hiding it from view, and it was off limits to tourists. Inside the bastion walls was the Aussig barracks which was the "sluice" where the prisoners were registered when they first arrived. This building was very primitive with a latrine instead of flush toilets and rough stone floors.

The Podmokly barrack building is in two parts, separated by a narrow courtyard. The photo above was taken from near the end of Langestrasse. On the right, you can see the edge of Brunnen park. The Podmokly barracks is directly in line with the Hannover barracks on the opposite side of the garrison town.

On the left in the photograph above, you can see the walls of the bastion which juts out from the garrison on the north side. Directly opposite, on the south side of the garrison, there is another identical bastion. There were buildings located between the double walls of each bastion. Inside the walls of the bastion on the south side was a bakery when Terezin was the Ghetto Theresienstadt.

Until June 1943, the incoming prisoners had to walk two miles from the nearest railroad station in the town of Bohusovice (originally called Bauschowitz by the Germans) and they entered the ghetto on the same road on which the bus coming from Prague enters the town today. The railway line from Bohusovice to the Ghetto ended in front of the Hamburg barracks, shown in the photo below.

Hamburg barracks in Theresienstadt ghetto

At first, the rules of the ghetto were extremely strict and incoming prisoners were thoroughly searched upon arrival. Even the heels of their shoes were searched for gold or diamonds. Those who tried to bring forbidden objects inside or send forbidden letters to relatives outside the ghetto were summarily executed.

On January 10, 1942, 9 prisoners were hanged by the wall shown on the left in the photograph above. On February 26, 1942, there were 7 more prisoners hanged in this location. After that the rules relaxed somewhat. The prisoners were allowed to send and receive letters and minor offenses were not so severely punished.

The photograph below shows a doorway with the date 1792 over the gate into a narrow courtyard between two sections of the old Podmokly barracks building. Notice the tree sticking up behind the door. All the old barracks buildings in the former garrison have inner courtyards and most of the buildings are a block long. The Podmokly barracks, also called the Bodenbach barracks, was used to house prisoners and it was here that the RSHA archives of Berlin were later stored.

Podmokly barracks were built in 1792

The Podmokly building extends the length of the block between Langestrasse and Hauptstrasse. The photograph below shows the view of the Podmokly barracks from Postgasse, on the south side of the barracks, looking towards the entrance to the Dresden barracks for women, with its entrance on Hauptstrasse.

Dresden barracks for women is in the background on the right

Hannover barracks on the left, Magdeburg barraks on the right

Dresden Barracks

Historic Buildings

Art Museum

Map of Ghetto

Walls and Gate

Ghetto Museum

Town Square

Old Buildings

Restaurants and Hotel

Children's Barracks