Theresienstadt Essay

3183 words - 13 pages

1939, Theresienstadt, A gift from Hitler. A place of hope and happiness for Jews and Jewesses alike. Theresienstadt was somewhere they could wait the war out without fear until the shadow of Nazism passed. It was a place filled with the most prosperous artists and musicians, daily shows and operas, lectures and seminars, gardens and coffee shops. A place with grace and character. An entire town that was given to the Jews as a gift from the Fuehrer. A paradise for Jews. That is at least, what the Nazis wanted people to believe.Forty miles north west of Prague, Czechoslovakia, surrounded by the central Bohemian Mountains Hitler pinpointed the small town of Theresienstadt to be his paradise ghetto, his “giftâ€. Located in a scenic community, Theresienstadt had broad streets and a large square surrounded by two large parks and two smaller ones. Here within an area five blocks wide and seven blocks long, over 140, 000 Jews would spend the last months of their lives, and only a few handfuls would survive.The first Jewish prisoners entered Theresienstadt on November 24, 1941. In the beginning, when the Fuehrer first presented the city to the Jews, many came willingly to the ghetto because life as a Jew was becoming intolerable and dangerous elsewhere with the rise and spread of anti-Semitism. The Jews wanting to enter Theresienstadt merely had to sign a contract turning over all remaining assets and property to the S. S, and in return the S. S pledged to take care of them as long as they inhabited Theresienstadt.Theresienstadt was un-like any other ghetto in the fact that Hitler planed to use the ghetto as a “model†ghetto. It was a model that was supposed to represent all the ghettos set up across Europe. Theresienstadt was a place the Nazis and Hitler showed to comfort and reassure the world as to the overall treatment of the Jews. It was a ploy to try to cover up the real horrors and massacres of the Jews that were breaking out across Europe. Theresienstadt was a ghetto designed to divert all attention away from the dying and suffering, Hitler wanted to hide the truth from the world and create a hoax. With thousands of Jews being transported and murdered, among them were people who would be recognized and missed in communities. These were people that were famous; musicians, writers, painters, actors, and well-known scholars. All of these sudden disappearances of these famous people would raise questions among the countries in which they disappeared. Hitler’s solution was Theresienstadt.Also among the Jews sent to Theresienstadt, were war veterans or any Jew whom had worn a German uniform. Hitler felt he needed to appease the German army and respect even a Jew who had honorably served Germany.Theresienstadt became a ghetto where most of the well-known Jews of Europe would reside happily for the remainder of the war. Theresiensadt, now a beautiful town filled with the most...

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