Hitler's Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness

By Konnilyn G. Feig | Go to book overview
Save to active project



Heinrich Himmler converted the nondescript military fortress town of Terezin into Theresienstadt -- the one truly unique German concentration camp facility. Terezin became a symbol of pretense and games that allowed the world, the Germans, and the Jews to convince themselves that the Nazis held to a code of human decency after all. Himmler created his model ghetto in Theresienstadt; and visiting International Red Cross commissions obligingly gave it their stamp of approval. Terezin was one of the Nazis' great public relations effort -- characterized by a complex pattern of "lies, deceit, camouflage, swindle, falsehood, ruse." 1

Terezin acquired its infamy during World War II when the Nazis created there and in nearby Litomerice the largest complex of Nazi camps in Czechoslovakia. They selected for the core of that complex one of Czechoslovakia's best preserved fortresses. It was at Terezin that the Nazis destroyed the bulk of the proud Prague Jewish community, one of the oldest in Europe. It was at Terezin that the Nazis made CzechoslovakiaJudenrein. So one begins one's Terezin journey in Prague.

For seven centuries the Prague Jews experienced tension, brief expulsions, separation into ghettos, anti-Semitic laws, plague; but still, the community flourished. The state completed the process of legal emancipation of the Jews by 1867 and abolished the Prague ghetto. In 1896, because of unhealthy conditions, the municipality pulled down the old Jewish quarter, leaving only the important historic sites. Most Jews from the area dispersed throughout the city. Many historic buildings with priceless collections remain today, veiled by the melancholy beauty of a world belonging to the past and marked by the tragic fate of its creators' descendants. Their memory is consecrated in the Pinkas Synagogue which has been converted into a monument to the 77,207 Prague Jewish victims of Nazism. 2

The buildings constituting the famous State Jewish Museum of Prague are located in the old Jewish ghetto area, a medieval enclave in the heart of the city. Recently, on the edge of the old ghetto, businessmen erected an elegant Intercontinental Hotel with a Penthouse Restaurant. Sitting in the restaurant,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hitler's Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 547

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?