Escape route at the Small Fortress

Ledge was chipped away after prisoners used it to escape

After visiting the shower room and shaving room at the west end of the First Courtyard, our tour of the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt continued through a doorway to the outside of the fortress where we saw the site of a successful escape by three prisoners on December 6, 1944. They escaped through an opening in the ramparts (the fortification walls) which separates the Hospital Block from the rest of the fortifications.

The photograph above shows the outside wall near the First Courtyard where a portion of the ledge was chipped away to prevent any more escapes. Milos Esner, Josef Mattas and Frantisek Marsik escaped at this spot by climbing out the window and walking along this ledge, which goes around the corner of the building to the opening between the walls, shown in the photograph below.

Opening in the fortifications is between the Hospital Block and the First Courtyard

The wall on the right side of the opening is part of the fortifications which houses the Hospital Block, located between the double walls of the the fortifications, just like the prison cells. It was here that hundreds of prisoners in the Small Fortress died during the typhus epidemic at the end of the war. Women prisoners were housed temporarily in the Hospital Block in 1944.The ledge around the Hospital Block, which is number 16 on the tour, was also chipped away to break up a possible escape route in the future.

Ledge around Hospital Block was removed to prevent escapes

The Long Tunnel

Execution Spot

Gate of Death

Commandant's House


Fourth Courtyard

Third Courtyard

Main Gate

Arbeit Macht Frei gate

Administration Courtyard

First Courtyard