Exectution place in
Firing range where
prisoners were executed
The photograph above shows the place
where prisoners were executed in the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt.
One of the fortification walls is in the background and the spot
where the condemned prisoner stood is in the center of the picture.
The concrete form in the foreground was one of three places,
under a free-standing roof, from which the firing squad would
shoot while in a prone position.
According to a small booklet which I
purchased at the Museum, between 250 and 300 of the 32,000 prisoners,
who were inmates at the Small Fortress, were executed. This included
49 men and 3 women who were shot on May 2, 1945 just before the
prison was liberated. Most of this group were either members
of the Predvoj resistance fighters or the Communist party which
had been banned by the Nazis.
The first recorded execution was on May
11, 1943 when a leader of the Communist resistance, Frantisek
Prokop, was shot at the firing range. On September 28, 1944,
Dr. Paul Eppstein, the second Elder of the Theresienstadt Ghetto
was executed here because of his resistance activities.
The photograph below shows the gallows,
which is against a low wall at right angles to the fortification
The gallows is located
to the right of the firing range
The gallows, shown in the photograph
above were only used on one occasion to hang three condemned
prisoners. Near the execution place is the site of the mass graves
where 601 corpses were exhumed in the summer of 1945 and reburied
in the National Cemetery in front of the main entrance. A tunnel
goes under the wall to the grave site. In the background, you
can see the roof top of the building where the Commandant and
the SS officers lived with their families.