Entrance to Tunnel in Small Fortress

Entrance to tunnel is No. 17, entrance to mortuary is No. 18

After seeing the escape ledge shown on the previous page, we continued our tour around the outside of the fortifications of the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt. Door Number 18, shown on the right in the photograph above, opens into the mortuary room, which we saw only from the outside. This is where the corpses were stored until they could be taken to the crematorium to be burned. Door Number 17 is the entrance to a tunnel which goes through the old fortifications on the north side of the Small Fortress to the former military firing range which was used by the Nazis for executions.

The tunnel is about a quarter of a mile long, although it seemed more like a mile. The tunnel is not underground, as you can easily see by looking through a few narrow slits in the wall along the way. The tunnel goes through the double walls of the original fortifications, but it was not used during World War II. It is shown to tourists because it is one more scary feature in this place of horror.

When you first enter the tunnel, it doesn't seem to be very long, but just as you think you are nearing the end, the tunnel makes a turn and continues on. The exit from the tunnel is shown in the photograph below, where you can readily see that the tunnel is above ground. However, if you suffer the least bit from claustrophobia, it would be wise to let the tour leader know in advance so that arrangements can be made for you to reach the execution site through the door used by the condemned prisoners. The sandy path from the tunnel leads to the execution site which is between the ramparts.

Exit from long tunnel through the fortification walls

Execution Spot

Gate of Death

Commandant's House


Fourth Courtyard

Third Courtyard

Main Gate

Arbeit Macht Frei gate

Administration Courtyard

First Courtyard

Escape Route