Museum in the Small
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.
where Commandant and other officers once lived