Museum in the Small Fortress

Statue in courtyard in front of the SS barracks, now a Museum

Directly across from the Commandant's quarters is the building which was used during the war as the barracks for the SS guards when the Small Fortress at Theresienstadt was a Gestapo prison. After the war, from the Summer of 1945 until 1948, the Small Fortress was used as a prison camp for German war criminals, and during that period, this building was the barracks for the police unit guarding the prison.

On May 6, 1947 the Czech government designated this building as a Memorial of National Suffering. Two years later, after the last of the German war criminals had been executed, the first historical exhibition was set up here.

The Museum has a large fenced courtyard in front of it. The path up to the front door is lined with birch trees which you can see in the photograph above. Statues of emaciated prisoners, such as the one you see in the photograph above stand in the courtyard.

In October 2000, when I visited, there was an exhibition in this building entitled "The Small Fortress Terezin 1940 - 1945." During that period the name of the town where the prison is located had been changed by the Nazis back to the original German name of Theresienstadt. The exhibit opened, after two years of preparation, on May 16, 1994. It is the seventh permanent exhibit to occupy the same space.

The photograph below shows a statue of a woman prisoner with her hands tied behind her back. It is located in front of the gate into the fenced courtyard in front of the museum building. On the left hand side, you can see a corner of the fence around the Commandant's quarters. In the background is the Fourth Courtyard administration building where the Holocaust Memorial is located. The Museum and the Commandant's quarters are both long narrow buildings. In this photograph, the Museum building is behind the camera to the right.

Statue of woman prisoner is in front of the gate into the Museum courtyard

The photograph below shows the fenced courtyard around the Commandant's quarters which is now the offices of the Memorial site.

"Lord's House" where Commandant and other officers once lived

Fourth Courtyard

Third Courtyard

Main Gate

Arbeit Macht Frei gate

Administration Courtyard

First Courtyard

Escape Route

The Long Tunnel

Execution Spot

Gate of Death

Commandant's House