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Terezin WW2 Memorial
Concentration Camp Tour

Small Fortress Political Prison, Military Town Terezin WWII Concentration Camp, Museums, WWII Jewish Cemetery, Bohusovice Crematorium.

Order Tour Code: C NW3
Tour availability: Tour available in summer season Tour available in winter season

The former military town Terezin changed during WWII into the concentration camp nowadays with its museums, secret prayer room, the Jewish cemetery, columbarium and crematorium and the Small Fortress former military prison and during the WWII used as the political prison, remind us of the sad part of European history. It is open every day. The crematorium is closed on Saturdays.

A combination with Nelahozeves castle , Karlovy Vary - Carlsbad spa , Lidice Village - Memorial of WW2 , Libochovice chateau , Zatec center of hop making , Melnik castle or Dresden is available.

To have a lunch, or a cup of coffee outside Terezin, we recommend to drive 10 minutes to the town Litomerice, or about 20 minutes to the medieval town Ustek, here is more about these sights: Litomerice medieval town , Ustek medieval town .

Video: Terezin WWII Memorial Main Fortress
Video: Terezin Small Fortress

Terezín was established at the end of the 18th century as a fortress; still surrounded by its massive ramparts, the town lies at the confluence of the rivers Labe (Elbe) and Ohre (Eger). The Main and Small Fortresses at Terezin, although the modern for their period, gradually became obsolete, and having lost their military function fell into disregard.
Only in the relatively recent past has Terezín once again entered the worlds public consciousness as a tragic symbol of the sufferings of the tens of thousands of innocent people who died here during the Nazi occupation of their homeland.

The Police Prison in the Small Fortress
After Hitler's occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Nazis recognised the "advantages" of the Lesser Fortress, and in June 1940 opened a police prison within it. Czech and Moravian patriots, members of numerous resistance groups and organisations, were sent here by various branches of the Gestapo.
While around 90% of the inmates were Czechs and Slovaks, others included citizens of the Soviet Union, Poles, Yugoslavs, Frenchmen, Italians, English prisoners of war and other nationalities. In five years, some 32 000 men and women passed through the gates of the Lesser Fortress.
The conditions under which the prisoners lived worsened from year to year, and prisoners were forced into slave labour. The "internal komando" maintained the prison, tilled the surrounding fields and built various structures. The majority of prisoners, however, worked outside the fortress for various firms in the area, and until the closing days of the War contributed to production and work for the Reich.
From 1943 executions, too, were carried out in the Lesser Fortress, on the basis of "Sonderbehandlung" - without judicial process. In all, more than 250 prisoners were shot. At the last execution, on May 2nd 1945, 51 prisoners and 1 informer, mostly representatives of the Predvoj youth movement, lost their lives.
Only in the evenings, in moments of rest, could the prisoners rise above the never- ending humiliation and terror from the side of their guards. Within their cells, permanent and trustworthy collectives formed that secretly organised political and cultural events. Talks and presentations were held by artists and a broad range of professionals; in some cells cultural evenings were secretly held with singing and recitations, and clerics organised prayers. Even in such inhuman conditions people were able to express their creativity; numerous poems and simple drawings of outstanding documentary value originated here. Culturally, political life in the cells and secret links to the outside world helped the prisoners to overcome the horrors of this tool of Nazi persecution.
The Small Fortress had the character of a transit prison, from which inmates were after a certain period either brought before the courts or transferred to concentration camps. As a result of hunger, maltreatment, insufficient medical care and poor hygienic conditions, however, some 2600 prisoners died here, while thousands more lost their lives having been deported from Terezín.

The concentration camp for Jews - the "Terezín Ghetto"
An integral part of Nazi plans for a new ordering of Europe was the so-called "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". From the occupied territories of Bohemia and Moravia, too, citizens of Jewish origin were hunted down and, from November 1941, gradually deported to the town of Terezín (the Main Fortress), where the Nazis arranged a "ghetto" for them. Here they were to be massed until the extermination camps further east were ready to carry out their final liquidation.
Initially, the barracks in the town were used to accommodate the Jewish prisoners, and once all the local residents had been moved out, by mid-1942, all civilian buildings were sued for this purpose. Massive overcrowding, however, also led to the use of attics, cellars, and the casemates within the ramparts. Terezín became the largest concentration camp in the Czech Lands, with thousands of transports arriving here carrying Jews not only from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, but also from Germany, Austria, Holland and Denmark, as well later as from Slovakia and Hungary.
In less than four years, more than 140 000 prisoners were brought here - men, women and children. In the last days of the War, a further 15 000 prisoners arrived at Terezin on "evacuation transports" from concentration camps cleared from the advancing front line. Over 35 000 prisoners died here as a result of stress, hunger, and the atrocious accommodation and hygienic conditions.
The Terezin camp for Jews was headed by a Nazi Komandantura, which gave instructions to the "Jewish authority" which took care of the internal organisation of the camp. Direct supervision of the prisoners was left to the Protectorate guards, the great majority of whom sympathised with the prisoners, attempted to help them and kept them in touch with the outside world.
Within the camp, all manner of prohibitions and ordinances applied, and only cultural life was for a certain period permitted, as it could serve as a backdrop disguising the truth of the fate that had been decided for the Jews. The internees took up the arts as a means of coping with depression and their fears for the unknown future. They attempted to ensure that even imprisoned children missed nothing of their education, and did not lose their outlook. Despite Nazi prohibition, therefore, they taught in secret, dedicating themselves with great self-sacrifice to educating the children; even behind the walls of the ghetto, they prepared them for a future in freedom.
Unfortunately, even as transports arrived at the ghetto, others gradually began to leave - into the unknown. From October 1942 virtually all went to Auschwitz- Birkenau, the most awful of the extermination camps. In all, 63 transports left Terezín for the "East", carrying a total of more than 87 000 individuals; of these, only 3800 would see liberation. The fate of the children of Terezín was equally tragic; of the 7590 youngest prisoners deported, a mere 142 survived until liberation. Only those children who remained for the whole period at Terezín had any really chance of being saved; on the day of liberation, Terezín contained some 1600 children aged 15 or under. Their lives are reflected in verses, diaries, illegally produced magazines and thousands of drawings - often the only things that remain of them.
Among the personalities active in the cultural life of the ghetto were the writers Karel Poláček and Norbert Frýd, from the world of music Karel Berman, David Grünfeld, Ada Hechtová, Karel Ančerl, Rudolf Franěk, Karel Reiner, Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and F.E. Klein, from theatre and cabaret arch. František Zelenka, Gustav Schorsch, Vlasta Schönová, Karel Švenk, Zdeněk Jelínek, Ota Růžička, Kurt Gerron, Hanuš Hofer, and Leo Strauss, and from the arts Bedřich Fritta, Otto Ungar, Leo Haas, Ferdinand Bloch, Karel Fleischmann, Petr Kien, Adolf Aussenberg, Charlota Burešová, Rudolf Saudek, Jo Spier and Arnold Zadikow.

The Litomerice forced labour camp (closed to the public)
In the last years of the War, as the German armaments industry was increasingly threatened by Allied air power, the Nazis decided to shift some of their production facilities underground. In Litoměřice, the former limestone quarry beneath the Bídnice plain was to be used for this purpose.
In the Spring of 1944, work began here on the construction of underground factories code-named Richard I and Richard II. Thousands of prisoners were brought to work on the project, primarily Poles, Yugoslavs, Russians, Frenchmen, Belgians, Italians and other nationalities. A work camp was established for them close to the building site, a subsidiary of the notorious Flossenbürg concentration camp - a workforce source.
Prisoners prepared the ground surface, dug adits and prepared the spaces of the production halls. Specially selected individuals, together with forced labourers, then worked on the production of engine parts for tanks, heavy military vehicles and ships. After several months, they were joined by the large komando of the Gestapo prison in the Lesser Fortress at Terezín.
Inhuman treatment, hunger, slave labour underground where cave-ins threatened, and finally an outbreak of typhus resulted in 4500 of the 18000 prisoners employed here dying in under a year.

The situation of prisoners at Terezin was complicated at the end of the War by the evacuation transports which arrived here between April 20th and May 6th, 1945. The thousands of pitiful and seriously ill prisoners who arrived at this time brought with them typhus, which quickly spread to the original Jewish occupants of the ghetto. Meanwhile, typhus was also identified in the Lesser Fortress prison. Doctors in Prague learned of this, and organised the "Czech Aid Project to help prisoners at Terezín", which was led by the epidemiologist MUDr. Karel Raška.
Members of the Czech Aid Project began work at the Lesser Fortress as early as May 4th, 1945, and at the same time made contact with members of the International Red Cross, which on May 2nd had taken over prevention at both the police prison and the ghetto. In the evening hours of May 8th the first units of the Red Army passed through Terezín towards Prague.
In the following days, at the request of the Czech doctors, the Soviet military took over preventative measures in all of Terezín, and also supplied much needed medical assistance. Together with Czech doctors and healthcare personnel, as well as the health service organised by former prisoners and dozens of volunteers from the surrounding area, they made a major contribution to stamping out the epidemic, which had already claimed hundreds of victims. Special mention must be made here of the self-sacrifice of all those who participated in this dangerous undertaking, without regard to time, rest of the danger of infection. By the end of May the worst of the epidemic had passed; some 30 000 lives had been saved. The repatriation of liberated prisoners, who came from a total of 30 countries, lasted until August 21st 1945.

The internment camp
From 1945 to 1948 the Small Fortress housed an internment camp in which were gathered first prisoners of war and later those German residents marked for expulsion from Czechoslovakia. This part of the relatively recent history of Terezín was for a long time taboo, and archive materials were not accessible to researchers. Only the democratic transformation has created normal conditions for the work of historians, and this has enabled the picture of post-war development to be filled out, and questions associated with it to be considered objectively. The results of such research were published in 1997, and are presented in a permanent exhibition in the Fourth Courtyard in the Lesser Fortress.

The creation of the Terezin Memorial
Shortly after the end of the Second World War attempts began to save and preserve this site of suffering and sadness in such a way as to provide an enduring memory and warning for future generations.
On May 6th 1947 the government of the Czechoslovak Republic decided to create the Terezín Memorial, with the aim of conserving and preserving the site as it was during the period of the Nazi occupation. Today, the Terezín Memorial comprises a collection of individual monuments that are noticeably dispersed, and do not form a single site. These include: The Small Fortress as a historical part of Terezín The National Cemetery The Ghetto Museum The Jewish Cemetery, with the crematorium and the Russian cemetery The memorial to Soviet forces The memorial plaque by the former railway sidings The site of reverence on the Ohre (Eger) The columbarium with part of the fortifications, a ceremonial space and mortuary The former Richard underground factory at Litoměřice and crematorium The Magdeburg Barracks

The National Cemetery
The National Cemetery was created artificially after liberation in 1945. The stimulus for its creation came from among former prisoners and the heirs of those who died, at whose request physical remains were exhumed from six mass graves in the ramparts of the Lesser Fortress which had been in use from March 1st to May 7th 1945. Among those who were exhumed were prisoners from the death march that in May 1945 arrived at the Lesser Fortress.
On September 16th 1945, in the presence of former prisoners, the descendants of some of the deceased, honourable leaders of political and public life in post-war Czechoslovakia and members of the general public, a ceremonial funeral was held for 601 exhumed victims (among those attending were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Masaryk, and JUDr. Milada Horáková, who spoke for the women prisoners).
From the end of the War, Terezín became a site of reverence for the Czechoslovak people. A memorial service was held at the National Cemetery to mark the first anniversary of liberation, on May 5th 1946. The programme included the burial of victims exhumed from shared graves in Lovosice, from mass graves found in the forced labour camp at Litoměřice, and from the communal cemetery in Terezín.
The ashes of 52 prisoners executed in the Lesser Fortress on May 2nd 1945 were also added to the National Cemetery. Furthermore, the urns containing the ashes of victims of the typhus epidemic were brought here from the Terezín Crematorium, as were ashes from large pits nearby - in the main, the remains of the dead from the Terezín Ghetto.
As late as 1958, building work close to the Richard former underground factories exposed a grave containing human ashes; it was found that these were the mortal remains of a Jewish prisoner from the Terezín Ghetto. They were immediately reinterred in the National Cemetery.
The National Cemetery presently contains 2 386 individual graves (both urns and inhumations). Thousands more of the dead of the Lesser Fortress, Terezín Ghetto and Litoměřice forced labour camp, as well as of those who came to Terezín at the end of the War in the death march and death transports, are interred in the mass graves marked by five pylons. In all, the remains of some 10 000 victims lie within the National Cemetery.

The Jewish Cemetery and Crematorium
The dead of the Terezin Ghetto were from the start buried in individual and mass graves near Bohušovice. It was thus that the Jewish Cemetery developed, in which lie some 9 000 victims from the ghetto. The Nazis also decided to create at Terezin a camp crematorium, which came into service on September 7th 1942, and was used in the cremation not only of the dead from the ghetto, but also from the Gestapo police prison in the Lesser Fortress, and later also those from the forced labour camp at Litomerice. According to surviving cremation records, some 30 000 victims were cremated here. Urns containing ashes were stored in the columbarium located in the fortress ramparts, but the Nazis were able to destroy the majority before the end of the War.
From the middle of March 1945 until the arrival of the first evacuation transports, cremations were halted; victims from all three components of the persecution were instead buried in mass graves. Meanwhile, a separate crematorium was established at the Litomerice camp, with came into service in April 1945; in the space of a month, some 400 corpses were cremated there. After the arrival of the evacuation transports at the end of April 1945, cremations began again at Terezín.
The appearance of the original cemetery for Jewish prisoners near Bohusovice was developed architecturally and in plan after the War, and the whole area is now presented as a garden that gently flows into the surrounding landscape. The site from which the Nazis threw the ashes of martyred prisoners into the Ohre in November 1944 has also been made into a site of reverence.

Please visit the special blog about: Terezin Blog The blog is written in Czech language. For translation please use Google translator!

The Ghetto Museum The Ghetto Museum opened in 1991 in the building of the former Terezín School. The exhibitions have been arranged with the assistance of former prisoners of the Terezín Ghetto.
Terezín in the Final Solution, 1941-1945 The Ghetto Museum also presents short-term exhibitions, documentary films are shown in the cinema, and a variety of brochures, books, videocassettes and souvenirs are on sale.
The Magdeburg Barracks The former Magdeburg Barracks have been reconstructed, and were opened in 1997; the building also houses the Meeting Centre.
Replica of a prison dormitory from the Ghetto period Music in the Terezín Ghetto Art in the Terezín Ghetto Literary works in the Terezín Ghetto Theatre in the Terezín Ghetto
Columbarium, Ceremonial Halls and Central Morgue Opened on October 16, 2001.
Exequies in the Ghetto and the Central Morgue
The Small Fortress From 1940 to 1945 the Small Fortress served as the prison of the Prague Gestapo. In 1994 a new permanent exhibition was opened here, devoted to the history of the political prison; it bears witness to the persecution of the Czech nation under the Nazi regime during the Second World War, and records the fates of Czech prisoners transferred to other concentration camps within the Nazi German Reich.
The Small Fortress 1940-1945
The Terezín Memorial art exhibition
Terezín 1780-1939
The Litomerice Forced Labour Camp 1944-1945
The Internment Camp for Germans - the Small Fortress 1945-1948

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The town and fortress of Terezin were founded in 1780 by Josef II in the neo-Classicist style and named after the Empress Maria Tereza , his mother. Unfortunately, the fortress has witnessed some of the most horrifying acts of oppression in modern history. Known to the world as Theresienstadt , in the 19th century it was a prison for political offenders. In 1942 the German Hitlerite governor , Heydrich, made Terezin fortress into a ghetto and the Small Fortress became one of the most dreaded Nazi prisons.
The minimum lenght of tour is 5 hours , but in case of higher interest of the clients the tour can last much longer.

What can you see during this tour.

You can see there :
1) Terezin town - that used to be the ghetto during the 2nd World War , we take people to the museums .
2) The Small Fortress that became the Gestapo´s prison in 1940.
3) The Bohusovice crematorium open from March 1 to November 30 except of Saturdays
4) The Jewish and the National Cemeteries
5) The memorial by the river Ohre , where the urns of ashes of 22000 people where thrown to the river.
6) The Secret Prayer´s room.
7) The Columbarium memorial.
Please, click on the link to visit detailed web site! Jewish Historical Sights
We recommend a combination of 3 hour walking tour in the Prague Jewish Quarter arear and a 5 hour round trip to Terezin in one day.

NW from Prague – 1hour
Trips :
1)Terezin trip number NW3 – 5hour round trip

Trips combinations :
2)Terezin NW3 + Lidice WW2 memorialW2 - 7-8hour round trip
3)Terezin NW3 + Nelahozeves castle NW1 – 7-8hour round trip
4)Terezin NW3 + Melnik castle N1 – 7-8hour round trip
5)Terezin NW3 + Duchcov castle NWW2 – 8hour round trip
6)Terezin NW3 + Nelahozeves castle NW1 + Melnik castle N1 - 9hour round trip
7)Terezin NW3 + Krivoklat castle W1 - 9hour round trip
8)Terezin NW3 + Nizbor crystal factory W3 - 9hour round trip
9)Terezin NW3 + Karlstejn castle SW1 - 9hour round trip
10)Terezin NW3 + Karlovy Vary spa WW2 - 10hour round trip
11)Terezin NW3 + Kutna Hora town E1 - 10hour round trip
12)Terezin NW3 + Strekov castle NWW2 - 10hour round trip
13)Terezin NW3 + Karlovy Vary spa WW2 + Melnik castle N1 - 12hour round trip
14)Terezin NW3 + Karlovy Vary spa WW2 + Nelahozeves castle NW1 - 12hour round trip
15)Terezin NW3 + Skoda historical cars museum NE1 - 9hour round trip
16)Terezin NW3 + Skoda historical cars museum NE1 and factory NE2 - 10hour round trip
17)Terezin NW3 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov trip number WW2 + Karlovy Vary spa WW1 - 12hour round trip
18)Terezin NW3 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov trip number WW1 + Karlovy Vary spa WW2 - 12hour round trip
19)Terezin NW3 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov trip number WW1 + Karlovy Vary spa WW2 + Lidice village WII memorial W2 - 13hour round trip
20)Terezin NW3 + Marianske Lazne spa & Porcelain Factory Slavkov trip number WW1 + Karlovy Vary WW2,WW3 + Nelahozeves castle NW1 - 14hour round trip
21)Terezin NW3 + Franz Kafka´s village B3 - 8hour round trip
22)Terezin NW3 + Franz Kafka´s village B3 + Nelahozeves castle{NW1} - 9hour round trip
23)Terezin NW3 + Franz Kafka´s village B3 + Lidice village WII memorial W2 - 9hour round trip
24)Terezin NW3 + Dresden A1 - 14 hour round trip
25)Terezin NW3 + Dresden A1 + Lidice village WII memorial W2 - 15 hour round trip
25)Terezin NW3 + Libochovice chateau NW5 - 7 hour round trip
26)Terezin NW3 + Zatec town and hop museum CWW13 - 8-9hour round trip
26)Terezin NW3 + Dresden CA1 - 10-12hour round trip
26)Terezin NW3 + Dresden A1 + Lidice village - 12-14hour round trip

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Last updated on May 12, 2018