Schur on Karny, 'Terezinska pametni kniha'
Miroslav Karny, ed. Terezinska pametni kniha. Praha, Czech Republic: Melantrich, 1995. 1-668 pp.p and 678-1559 pp. ISBN 978-80-7023-209-5.
Reviewed by Herbert Schur (University of Sheffield, England) Published on H-Holocaust (January, 1997)
Terezin Memorial Book: Data on 81,397 Jewish Prisoners
The purpose of this work may be stated briefly: to provide, for the first time, a widely available memorial in printed form, recording basic data and notes on the fate of each one of the 81,397 Jewish children, women, and men from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the Reichsgau Sudetenland (Sudetengau) deported to the Terezin (Theresienstadt) "ghetto" and to destinations in "the East" in the period from 16 October 1941 to 16 March 1945, and including children born in Terezin. Included are not only the names of those who did not survive the largest institutionalized systematic mass murder in European history, but also of those who, having experienced humanly unimaginable conditions, lived to greet the day of their liberation.
These two volumes do not include the names of the victims from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia deported directly to Nisko in occupied Poland as early as 18 October 1939 (unless the individual victims concerned were subsequently included in transports to Terezin), the thousands from the Protectorate, the Sudetengau, and the "Sudetenland" areas not incorporated in the Sudetengau but in Bavaria and the Oberdonau and Niederdonau parts of the Ostmark (Austria) who were sent to German prisons for allegedly infringing one or more of the numerous race "laws," or to fatal Gestapo interrogations, or directly to the Gestapo prison in the Terezin "Little Fortress," to concentration camps in Germany, or those who were "liquidated" as a result of various actions or as active anti-Nazi resistance fighters. All these will be remembered in a second (but separate) Memorial Book which is in preparation (p. 1337).
A third volume of the present work will record the fate of prisoners brought to Terezin from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark, accounting for 47 percent of the total number of the more than 150,000 prisoners deported to Terezin (p. 1337). It is not made clear whether the prisoners who arrived from Sered' in Slovakia (e.g.,Transports XXVI/1 to XXVI/4 between 23 December 1944 and 7 April 1945) are to be included, or who among the 13,000 victims of death marches who arrived on foot and by rail on and after 20 April 1945 from Hungary, Poland, Roumania, the USSR, Slovakia, France, and Yugoslavia, including also Belgian, Greek, Italian, and other nationals, will be included (p. 53).
In a brief introduction, Vaclav Havel identifies two main reasons why we need continually to remind ourselves of the events recorded in this work: first, "because of the natural respect for the infinite suffering undergone by our fellow human beings and respect for their memory"; and second, because of the continuing need for a warning of the dangers posed by fanatics, perverse ideologies, and human knavery. "Nazism has been defeated, but it would be naive to imagine that the spirit of racialism, of collective hatred and the readiness of mean human souls to confirm themselves in their importance by the commission of crimes, has vanished from this world.... The antagonism to people of other nations, races or religions, this desperate substitute for the individual human self-awareness, latently slumbers all around us. It is necessary to resist it right from its apparently innocuous initial manifestation. It is necessary to confront even the indifference to such manifestation."
Virtually all the records from which the data on the individuals listed have been extracted were in existence, often in multiple copies and from multiple sources, in Prague in May 1945. Some of these records, in the form of lists and card indexes, were immediately made use of by dedicated workers in the new Rada zidovskych nabozenskych obci v Cechach a na Morave [Council of Jewish Religious Communities in Bohemia and Moravia] in providing an effective and efficient search service. The work of correcting and filling in the gaps in the records appears to have continued until at least 1954-59, when the names (with date of birth) of 77,297 Jewish victims from Bohemia and Moravia murdered in Terezin and elsewhere were being inscribed on the walls in the Pinkas synagogue, which had become the Holocaust memorial in Prague. However, as a consequence of the political change in February 1948, ideological (nominally "Socialist" or "Communist") regulations and pressures ensured that only minimal progress in the work of correcting and filling gaps in the records and in exploiting these resources could take place, especially when requiring use of complementary documentary resources and collaboration with research workers abroad. The freedom required for this work did not return until the major political changes following the November 1989 "velvet revolution," notwithstanding some exchange of data in 1968-72 with the Juedisches Komitee fuer Theresienstadt in Vienna, Austria.
Early in 1980 Serge Klarsfeld, who had published the Memorial Book of the Jews of France (Le Memorial de la Deportation des Juifs de France [Paris, 1978]), and had participated in the production of the Memorial Books for the Jews of Belgium (with Maxime Steinberg), Luxembourg (by Paul Cerf), and Italy (by Liliana Picciotto Fargion), among others, began to work on a Memorial Book of Jews from Bohemia and Moravia, using resources at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel; he was supported by Ilan Kaufthal of New York (p. 9) and by Joseph and Betty Saville of France, who created a computerized database with information on "more than 70 000 Jews deported from Bohemia and Moravia" (p. 10). The completion of the work was effectively sabotaged by Czech bureaucrats who, in spite of the intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, denied Klarsfeld access to the records in Prague of those deported in eight transports sent directly to "the East" before Terezin became the main concentration camp, euphemistically called a "ghetto" or even "ghetto for old people," for Jews from Bohemia and Moravia. These bureaucrats presumably relied on the regulation (not mentioned by Klarsfeld or Karny) concerning access by, or for, foreigners to State archives less than fifty years old, which states that "Permission to view will not be granted if, by viewing the archives, state or societal interests could be endangered, or [could endanger] the legitimately protected interests of persons still living ..." (Vladimir Bystricky and Vaclav Hrub, Prehled archivu CSR [Praha: Archivni sprava ministerstva vnitra CSR, 1984], p. 23). The interests of the state, the party, and Nazis and their collaborators at that time still clearly rated higher than the dissemination of information about the victims and of the claims of the many still unsatisfied demands of timely justice.
With the change in the balance of power in the leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in November 1989, photocopies of these lists were provided to Serge Klarsfeld overnight (p. 9). In 1990, the Terezinska iniciativa [TI] adopted a proposal by Miroslav Karny for publishing a Memorial Book, and when Klarsfeld learned of this initiative he and his colleagues presented the TI with all the data and computer programs and the computerized database they already had available, to enable "the researchers in the country who are cognizant of the problems and have available the most accurate documentation" to complete the work (p. 10).
The chapter by Miroslav Karny, "The Genocide of Czech Jews" (pp. 19-54), provides a historical background briefing for the Czech user of the database. It touches on the Nuremberg race "laws" and the concepts of "Glaubensjuden" and "Geltungsjuden," of importance in the treatment of individuals and in statistics, notes the escape of some 90 percent of the Jews from the "Sudetenland," following the Munich four-power accord, to the then-unoccupied parts of Czechoslovakia, and the legal and "illegal" escape from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia after 15 March 1939.
In the first of the seven sections under subheadings, "The ghetto without walls" (pp. 23-27), examples of "legal" restrictions imposed on Jews by physical segregation (similar to the isolation of persons with highly infectious and contagious diseases), asset stripping and restriction on incomes (both current and potential), "race"-restricted food rations (i.e., slow starvation), and concentration in localities from which mass deportations were planned to take place, are noted.
In the second section, "The beginning of the stream of deportations" (pp. 27-32), an account is given of the discussions of various plans considered for carrying out the Fuehrer's wish to "liberate" the Reich and the Protectorate from the presence of Jews (p. 27), resulting in the selection of Terezin as the centre in which Jews would be held for despatch to destinations in "the East." Even while these discussions were taking place, five 1,000-strong transports were despatched from Prague to Lodz and another one from Brno to Minsk, the first on 16 October 1941, the last exactly one month later.
The third section, "Terezin as ghetto and concentration camp" (pp. 32-37), outlines the changes in Terezin, a garrison town of 3,825 civilian inhabitants, 3,478 of Czech and 347 of German "nationality" (at an unspecified date) and a total population (including military) never exceeding 7,200, from the arrival of the Aufbaukommando of 342 Jewish prisoners on 24 November 1941 and that of the first transport of 1,000 Jewish prisoners from Prague just six days later, to the end of 1942. The first 1,000-strong transport left Terezin for Riga on 9 January 1942 and was followed by another one six days later, followed by transports to Izbica, Piaski, Rejowiec, Lublin, Warsaw, Zamosc, Sobibor, Ujazdow, Trawniki, Maly Trostinec, Baranovici, and Raasika, and 2,000-strong transports to Treblinka, with the first transport to Auschwitz (Osvetim, in Czech) comprising 1,866 prisoners on 26 October 1942. The non-Jewish inhabitants of Terezin were required to move out by 3 July 1942, and the (Czech) Protectorate gendarmerie, who had been there to ensure the observance of the strict orders for the segregation of the Jewish prisoners from contact with the residents, and men from women, was withdrawn by 12:30 on 6 July 1942.
This period had seen the deportation to Terezin of some three-quarters of the Jewish members of the population of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as the arrival of transports of elderly Jews from Austria and Germany so that, in spite of the massive deportations to "the East," the number of Jewish prisoners in Terezin increased to 58,491 by 18 September 1942. With "living space" of 1.6 square metres (about 17.2 sq. ft.) per prisoner (p. 34), some 6,000 of these "accommodated" in damp eighteenth-century fortress casemates without light, water, or toilets, and with bare floors, death from "natural" causes reached 156 for that day.
The narrative in this and the next, fourth, section on "Metamorphoses of Terezin" (pp. 37-41) suggests that, far from an efficient selection of prisoners in support of the Nazi ideological aims on one hand and of the manpower needs of the war effort in support of the Wehrmacht on the other, the actual selection (for instant death or for death after a period as slave labourer) was the result of ad hoc decisions at various levels of the SS hierarchy. Following the decisive defeats of the Wehrmacht and its allies (and collaborators) at El-Alamein (2 November 1942) and Stalingrad (2 February 1943), a third objective gained in importance--namely, the use of Jewish prisoners for purposes of propaganda in an attempt to convince neutral observers and potential allies in an anti-Bolshevik campaign of the humane and generous treatment of elderly Jews.
This theme is developed in the fifth section, "The Terezin Pseudoalibi" (pp. 41-48). This period saw the first "beautifying" action, when, along the proposed distinguished visitors' route, shops were built, one of the squares got a park-like green area with a bandstand, another a children's playground, a cafe and a concert hall and theatre were constructed, and even streets were re-named from the unattractive L1-6 and Q1-9 to names like Tower Street, Spa Street, Park Street, Lake Street, and so on, to suggest a thriving spa town, populated by well-clad elderly Jews enjoying a happy retirement in the company of children. To create space and to eliminate the all-too-obvious overcrowding, the population was reduced by the tried expedient of despatching the "surplus" to the death camps in "the East." This carefully staged and choreographed play was performed, after several postponements, on 23 June 1944 for two Danish officials and Maurice Rossel, a Swiss member of the Berlin delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Dr. Rossel was impressed and sent photographs of his visit to Eberhard von Thadden of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who used these in a foreign-press conference as evidence against "enemy propaganda on alleged irregularities in the treatment of Jews resident in Europe" (p. 47).
All the children shown at play in these photographs were sent to death in the gas chambers within four months. Rossel's report also described Terezin as an "Endlager"--that is, a final destination camp, even though, by July 1944, 68,000 had been despatched to death camps in "the east," and some 32,000 of the Jewish "residents," not having survived the actual conditions prevailing in Terezin, had been cremated. This incorrect description of Terezin placed in doubt the truthfulness of the Alfred Wetzler-Walter Rosenberg (Rudolf Vrba) report of April 1944 (Rudolf Vrba and Alan Bestic, I Cannot Forgive [London, 1963]) noting the deportations from Terezin to Auschwitz, and may well have had the effect of persuading the ICRC not to proceed with the planned visit to the "Arbeitslager Birkenau bei Neu-Berun"--that is, to the "family camp" for some Czech Jews from Terezin in a section of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, prepared for such a visit. This "family camp," kept ready for some six months, was liquidated in July 1944, when it became clear that it was not going to be required. Almost 6,500 surviving prisoners there, including hundreds of children, were sent to the gas chambers, and 3,500 prisoners, considered to be fit for dangerous work in the war effort, were sent to various plants, including some built underground, mines, and quarries, and concentration camps in Germany, with a few dozen of the survivors finding themselves back in Terezin by late April and May 1945. On 6 April 1945 another performance was staged for a delegation from the ICRC, the report by Otto Lehner being "even more unconscionable than that of Maurice Rossel" (p. 52).
In the sixth, brief, section "Autumn [Fall 1944] liquidation transports" (pp. 48-50), the major push given to the programme for murdering as many Jews as possible, in the rapidly shrinking period before the ever more probable end of the Thousand-Year Reich, led to eleven transports with 18,402 prisoners being despatched within one month from 28 September 1944 from Terezin to Auschwitz, with just 1,474 of these prisoners surviving there and, following evacuation, to other death camps, some incorporating branch plants of well-known and profitable German industrial undertakings, and death marches. Before these transports were despatched, a film unit produced a "documentary film" on the sweet life in Terezin. In the event, the Nazi propagandists did not make use of this film.
The seventh section describes "The final metamorphosis of the Terezin camp" (pp. 50-54). The last transport from Terezin left on Czechoslovak Independence Day, 28 October 1944, and action was taken to destroy any remaining evidence of the high "natural" mortality of prisoners in Terezin by throwing the ashes of some 17,000 cremated prisoners into the river Ohre and the remainder into a pit near the Litomerice (Leitmeritz) concentration camp in the Sudetengau nearby (p. 52). Karny outlines various attempts, both by Jewish and other (US, Swedish, Swiss, etc.) negotiators to exploit the increasing realization among some of the leading Nazi criminals that the Thousand-Year Reich was coming to an end to save at least some of the the Jewish victims from certain death. Although a few thousand concentration camp prisoners, including 1,368 from Bergen-Belsen on 6 December 1944 and about 1,200 from Terezin on 5 February 1945, were allowed to reach and to enter Switzerland, the overriding priority for the Nazis still remained the perfect crime with no survivors, no witnesses able and willing to testify, and no evidence, such as gas chambers, crematoria, unburied or even buried bodies, and, as second priority, at least for some, the retention of small numbers of hostages to be used as a shield in a last stand in Bohemia and Austria while attempting to persuade the western Allies to join Germany in forming a victorious common front against the "Bolsheviks."
Terezin became, from 20 April 1945, a destination for death marches and for transports evacuating concentration camps and forced labour camps ahead of the Allied armies, with the survivors, exhausted, starved, and, suffering from typhoid, typhus, and other infectious diseases, ultimately increasing its population to over 30,000. An epidemic spread rapidly, and of the more than 2,000 victims affected, some 500 died. Terezin was handed over to Paul Dunant of the ICRC on 5 May 1945, SS Lagerkommandant Karl Rahm leaving, by SS chauffeur-driven car, on the same day. On 8 May, shooting by retreating SS units still caused two deaths in Terezin, but by the evening, the first units of the Red Army advancing on Prague from the north were welcomed there.
This introduction is followed by the raison d'etre of this work, the database. This, it is hoped, can be used effectively by readers not fluent in Czech, by using information provided in the appendices to this review--Appendix A: Contents, Appendix B: Guide to database entries and to use of the Index of Names, and Appendix C: Catalogues and other sources used.
The major contribution of the team working on the database lies in the care taken to identify each individual by an exhaustive (and exhausting) comparison of records in various sources, and, in some cases, by supplementing these by checking with survivors, including Alisah Schillerova, who heads the computerized database of Beit Theresienstadt, Givat Chaim Ichud, Israel. Although not all the information available has been published in this printed database, the description of the primary sources used (pp. 55-61 and Appendix C of this review) should enable those wishing to find additional information, such as place of birth, names of parents, last known address, etc., to go to the most promising sources--which, it may now be expected, will be opened to all, regardless of citizenship, "nationality," or other restrictive characteristic, and without bureaucratic obstacles and procrastination.
The most disappointing part of this work is, unexpectedly, the paper on the "Genocide of Czech Jews" (pp. 19-54) by Miroslav Karny. The Czech reader will find not a single full reference to a publication in Czech relating to and amplifying the details of the events leading to the genocide, nor, for that matter, will the reader find references to publications in any other language, whether published in Czechoslovakia (such as Karny's own papers in Judaica Bohemiae and elsewhere) or abroad. There is not even a short bibliography for "further reading" to help the interested reader.
The reader, even one having a command of Czech, will find that places are mentioned, both in Bohemia and Moravia and in other parts of Europe under German occupation, but no glossary is provided of place names in Czech and their equivalents in other languages, such as Litzmannstadt (a name not recorded in the pre-Nazi edition of the Meyers Lexikon, vol.7 [Leipzig: Bibliographisches Institut, 1927], but, possibly, named after the Prussian General Karl Litzmann) for Lodz, Osvetim/Oswiecim/Auschwitz, Drazdany/Dresden, Lipsko/Leipzig, Vratislav/Wroclaw/Breslau, Kralovec/Koenigsberg/[now Kaliningrad], and so on. No maps are provided to show where these places are (perhaps also showing the road, rail, and river communications). The identification of places such as labour camps and temporary concentration camps (e.g., in Most), and places such as mines and agricultural and industrial plants employing slave labour, in Bohemia and Moravia and elsewhere, would have been particularly useful.
In view of President Havel's warning, the point should have been made that many of the features of the "solution of the Jewish problem" as implemented by the Nazis, their allies, and collaborators were not unknown in European "culture," legal codes, and practice, including in Bohemia and Moravia. It was the wishful thinking that "it can't happen in civilized countries in this modern age" that led to ignoring even the possibility that many of these features might be, or might become, acceptable even to professors in top universities, a few Nobel Prize laureates, as well as to some members of the "nobility," captains of industry, and church dignitaries and might efficiently be implemented by the government and bureaucrats of just such a "civilized" European country (see, e.g., Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European Jews [New York and London: Holmes and Meier, 1985], or earlier editions: Chapter 1. "Precedents," pp.5-28, esp. Tables 1-1 and 1-2, and Chapter 10. "Reflections: The Perpetrators," pp. 993-1029).
For the Czech reader, taught to lump all opponents of "socialism" under the blanket label of "fascists," there is the need to point out that the one feature which distinguished the Nazi movement from all other "fascists" was that of "race." It was the Nazi concept of "race," within which Jews were specifically singled out as posing the ultimate threat to the continued existence of human life on earth, that led to the "Final Solution." Mussolini despised the Nazi racialism in 1933 and 1934 (see Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy, 1922-1945 [Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1978], pp. 74-77).
Though the enthusiastic voluntary collaboration by some opportunists (individuals, governments, and public, professional, and trade institutions and associations) with the Nazis, even before the total occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, must not be forgotten, the help given by decent individuals at the risk of their, and the prisoners', lives needs to be praised and remembered. One would therefore have expected more to have been said about, for instance, the help given to the Terezin prisoners as soon as the SS flag there was taken down, by the medical personnel, administrators of hospitals and sanatoria, the ambulance and the Red Cross services and pharmacies in Prague, less than 40 miles distant, particularly before the Red Army placed its own medical services and army hospitals in the service of saving life in Terezin. It is significant that, according to Eva Schmidt-Hartmann, some 700 "Protektoratsangehoerige" prisoners managed to leave the Terezin "ghetto" in the days before its liberation (Eva Schmidt-Hartmann, "Tschechoslowakei," in Wolfgang Benz, et al., Dimension des Voelkermords [Muenchen: R. Oldenbourg, 1991], p. 368).
Since this work was published in 1995, one would expect that it would have taken into account earlier publications. While Karny dates the arrival of the Red Army in Terezin as 8 May 1945, Lederer (Zdenek Lederer, "Terezin," in Avigdor Dagan, et al., The Jews of Czechoslovakia, vol. 3 [Philadelphia, Pa.: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1984], p.145), dated this 11 May 1945, and Edelheit (Abraham J. Edelheit and Herschel Edelheit, History of the Holocaust:.. [Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1994], p. 334), implausibly, as 2 May 1945. Similarly, there is doubt about the exact date from which the ICRC was in charge of Terezin. Karny states this (p. 54) as 5 May 1945, Lederer (op. cit., p.145) as 2 May 1945, when the SS flag was hauled down and replaced by the flag of the ICRC.
In view of Karny's comment on Otto Lehner's report on Terezin (p. 52), it would have been useful to know whether or not Paul Dunant of the ICRC and SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Adolf Karl Eichmann were present at this ICRC visit on 6 April 1945, a three-man ICRC delegation visit "accompanied by Adolf Eichmann and other SS officers" on that date being noted by Lederer (op. cit., p. 143), and whether Paul Dunant met Benjamin Murmelstein on this occasion, as also noted by Lederer (op. cit., p. 143).
The lack of any bibliographical references also makes it impossible to discover why the author states (p. 52) that it was at Bergen-Belsen that "American soldiers stood in horror at the sight of heaps of bodies" and not, perhaps, at Ohrdruf ("Belsen Concentration Camp," Lancet, 12 May 1945, pp. 604-5; W.R.F. Collis, "Belsen Camp: A Preliminary Report," British Medical Journal, 9 June 1945, pp.814-16; Abraham J. Edelheit and Herschel Edelheit, op. cit, p.147). And one could multiply such examples of ex-cathedra assertions.
The database, on the other hand, has, when tested, proved reliable. When tested against a list of just twenty names that had been checked in Prague in May 1946, of which two were then reported as "no record found," all were found in this work; of thirty dates of birth checked, only one was partly incorrect, though the correct year (1933) could have been deduced from a note of age in three of Eva Schurova's drawings dating from 1943 and 1944 in the Prague Jewish Museum collection (e.g., Drawing 133.258/3.325/), and confirmed from a source in the Yad Vashem library.
Finally, the editors' appeal (p. 1339), for all corrections, addenda, and comments, to be sent to them at the Nadace Terezinska iniciativa, Maiselova 18, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic, should be noted, so that they can be taken into account in the continuing project and publications.
Anon. "Belsen Concentration Camp: The Medical Services Take Over," Lancet, 12 May 1945, pp. 604-5. [First report in a medical journal reporting on period from 12 to 17 April 1945.]
Benz, Wolfgang, et al. Dimension des Voelkermords: Die Zahl der juedischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte Herausgegeben vom Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Band 33. (Muenchen: R. Oldenbourg, 1991), ISBN 3-486-54631-7, 584 pp. [For Czechoslovakia see Eva Schmidt-Hartmann. Other countries include the German Reich, Austria, Luxembourg, France and Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Roumania, Poland, the USSR, and a general survey, all including numerous bibliographical references to sources.]
Bystricky, Vladimir, and Vaclav Hruby. Prehled archivu CSR (Praha: Archivni sprava ministerstva vnitra CSR, 1984), 209 pp; p.23. [N.B. CSR = Ceska socialisticka republika] [Guide to archives in the CSR]
Collis, W. R. F. "Belsen Camp: A Preliminary Report," British Medical Journal, 9 June 1945, pp. 814-16. [First, brief, report by the Senior Medical Officer "after 24 hours' contact with the camp." Includes sketch plan of camp.]
Dagan, Avigdor, editor-in-chief. The Jews of Czechoslovakia: Historical Studies and Surveys. Vol. 3 (Philadelphia, Pa.: The Jewish Publication Society of America and Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews, 1984). ISBN 0-8276-0230-8; xli + 700 pp. [See particularly Kulka, Lederer, Lexa, and Rothkirchen, as well as other studies in this volume.]
Edelheit, Abraham J., and Herschel Edelheit. History of the Holocaust: A Handbook and Dictionary (Boulder, Colo., San Francisco, Calif. , and Oxford: Westview Press, 1994). ISBN 0-8133-1411-9; ISBN 0-8133-2240-5(pbk.) 524p. p.147 [includes picture], 334.
Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of European Jews (Chicago, Ill.: Quadrangle Books, 1961). 788 pp.; (New York: Octagon Books, 1978), ISBN 0-347-93888-1. viii + 790 pp.; (New York and London: Holmes and Meier, 1985, rev. and definitive ed.), ISBN 0-8419-0832-X (set). xii + 1274 pp. (in 3 vols.). [Concerned primarily with the policy and the organizational, and management aspects of this "enterprise." Note on, mainly primary, sources for further study, pp.1223-31.]
Klarsfeld, Serge. Le Memorial de la Deportation de Juifs de France (Paris: B. et S. Klarsfeld, 1978). (not paginated, no ISBN).
Kulka, Erich. "The Annihilation of Czechoslovak Jewry," in Dagan, Jews of Czechoslovakia, pp. 262-328.
Lederer, Zdenek. "Terezin," in Dagan, Jews of Czechoslovakia, pp. 104-64. [Includes a particularly relevant annotated bibliography, pp.152-64.]
Lexa, John G. "Anti-Jewish Laws and Regulations in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia," in Dagan, Jews of Czechoslovakia, pp. 75-103.
Marrus, Michael R.,ed. The Nazi Holocaust: Historical Articles on the Destruction of European Jews, vol. 9: The End of the Holocaust (London and Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1989), ISBN 0-88736-256-6. [Collection of selected reprints. See particularly Rothkirchen, cited below.]
Michaelis, Meir. Mussolini and the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy, 1922-1945 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press for the Institute of Jewish Affairs, London, 1978), ISBN 0-19-822542-3. xiii + 472 pp., pp. 74-77.
Rothkirchen, Livia. "The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia, 1938-1945," in Dagan, Jews of Czechoslovakia, pp. 3-74.
Rothkirchen, Livia. "The 'Final Solution' in its Last Stages," in Marrus, Nazi Holocaust, pp. 342-55.
Schmidt-Hartmann, Eva. "Tschechoslowakei," in Benz, Dimension des Voelkermords, pp. 353-79.
Vrba, Rudolf, and Alan Bestic. I Cannot Forgive (London: Sidgwick & Jackson; Anthony Gibb & Phillips, 1963), 278 pp.
[In order to make this book, written in Czech, more useful to non-Czech-readers, the reviewer has prepared several appendices to his review: a detailed list of the table of contents, guides to the notation used in the entries and to the index of names, and a list of the sources used by the editors of the book under review.]
Appendix A: List of Contents
The following Contents List in English, prepared by the reviewer, is an expanded version of the text in Czech in the original publication.
1. A word from Vaclav Havel [President of the Czech Republic].. 7
2. Serge Klarsfeld: toward the Terezinska pametni kniha .... 9
3. Guide to the Terezinska pametni knih ..............13
4. Miroslav Karny: The genocide of Czech Jews ............ 19
5. Sources used [see also Appendix C of this review] ..... 55
6. Chronological survey of Jewish deportation transports from Prague to Lodz and Ujazdow, and from Brno to Minsk, and of all deportation transports to Terezin and from Terezin (16.10.1941-15.4.1945) [list of transports] [date of departure/code of transport/departure from/number of persons /destination].. 63
7. Equivalents of given names: Part I: Czech-other [usually German], Part II: other-Czech [see 24. below] ...... 75
8. Transports A to E from Prague to Lodz (16.10.1941-3.11.1941) [annotated lists of prisoners] ...................... 77
9. Transport F from Brno to Minsk (16.11.1941) [annotated list of prisoners]........................................ 139
10. Transports to Terezin from the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (24.11.1941-26.6.1942) [annotated lists of prisoners] .. 151
11. Transports from Prague to Ujazdow (10.6.1942) [annotated lists of prisoners]...................................... 666
12. Transports to Terezin from the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia (2.7.1942-26.1.1945) ............................. 689
13. Transports St-Ez to Terezin from Prague of individual prisoners [Sondertransporte-Einzelreisende] (7.2.1942-13.11.1944) [annotated list of prisoners] ....... 1264
14. Transports AE to Terezin from the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia and the Sudetengau ["Arbeitseinsatztransporte" of Jewish "mixed-marriage" and "mixed-descent" prisoners] (31.1.1945-16.3.1945) [annotated list of prisoners] ....... 1272
15. Transports to Terezin from the Sudetengau (13.11.1942-7.3.1945) [annotated list of prisoners] ....... 1317
16. Children born in Terezin (13.2.1942-5.3.1945) [annotated list of prisoners].................................... 1332
17. Documentation appendix [a note] .................... 1337
18. Table 1: List of deportation transports from Bohemia and Moravia [Protectorate and Sudetengau] to Terezin and the fate of the prisoners [code of transport/place of departure/ date of departure/number of prisoners/died/liberated/fate undetermined, and notes] ................... 1341
19. Table 2: Fate of prisoners deported [directly] from Prague and Brno to Lodz, Minsk, Ujazdow, and Auschwitz (16.10.1941- 27.10.1944) [code of transport/place of departure/ destination/date of departure/number of prisoners/died/liberated]......... 1344
20. Bar chart of Table1 [x=date of departure, y=number of prisoners; black=died, white=liberated] ............ 1345
21. Bar chart: Fate of prisoners deported to Terezin from Bohemia and Moravia (24.11.1941-16.3.1945) [not deported from Terezin/deported from Terezin. y=number of persons; black=died, white=liberated; the first column includes among those liberated those transported on 5..2.1945 to among those liberated those transported on 5.2.1945 to Switzerland. Of the 7,240 prisoners liberated in Terezin only 3,376 had been transported there before 28.10.1944 when the last transport departed for the extermination camps in occupied Poland. The majority of those liberated were prisoners from transports AE (see 14, above). The 110 prisoners whose fate could not be determined are not included in this chart.] ..... 1346
22. Bar charts: Fate of prisoners aged to 15, deported to Terezin from Bohemia and Moravia (24.11.1941-16.3.1945) [as previous chart; age at date of deportation] Fate of children born in Terezin to parents deported from Bohemia and Moravia [no child deported from Terezin survived to liberation] ............ 1347
23. Bar chart: Age structure of prisoners deported to Terezin from Bohemia and Moravia. Age at date of deportation .... 1348
24. Index of names [See also 7, above]. Since given names were not consistently recorded in Czech or German or as normally used by the prisoner himself or herself, Jan might be recorded as Hans, and, later, Siegfried or Viktor as Vitezslav. The "race-identifier" names of Israel and Sara were omitted when added by the authorities for that purpose. Surnames in parentheses are variant versions found in the card-index sources; those in square brackets are the [most recent] surname following marriage or name change following liberation. See also Appendix B of this review].... 1349
Plates: 16 pages of b/w plates are inserted in each one of the two volumes, following p. 144 in Vol. 1 and p. 1336 in Vol. 2.
The following notes have been prepared by the reviewer on the basis of information provided in the volume (pp.13-17, 1349 et seq.):
The entries are arranged in the following form:
Heading for transport
1. Transport Z - Kladno Transport code - place of departure
2. Terezin 26. unora 1942 Destination - date of departure for destination [N.B.: the genitive forms of the months of the year are: ledna, unora, brezna, dubna, kvetna, cervna, cervence, srpna, zari, rijna, listopadu, prosince.]
3. 756 zahynulych : (number of prisoners) died
4. 66 osvobozenych: (number of prisoners) liberated
5. 1 osud nezjisten: (number of prisoners) fate undetermined
Osvobozeni se dozili: survived to be liberated
Dalsi osud nezjisten: further fate not determined
1. Schindlerova ( ) Vera: Surname/(variant spelling)/Given name
2. [ ]: [postwar married or changed name]
3. *22.7.1931: date of birth (day, month, year)
4. Es-19.10.1944: Transport code - date of departure from Terezin (day, month, year).[N.B. GSt = moved to the Gestapo prison in the Little Fortress in Terezin]
v: died in (place) on (date) [N.B.: The v is a downward-pointing solid triangle.]
[N.B.: The place of liberation is either the actual place or the last concentration camp imprisoned in. This part completed only if information relating to the specified individual has been recorded -otherwise fate unknown, presumed dead (on the basis of totals recorded for give transport).]
Index of names [p.1349 et seq.]
1. The alphabetic sequence is that of the Czech alphabet, i.e., ch follows h, and consonants C, R, S, and Z with a hacek (v) follow those without.
2. Note that in Czech the feminine form of the surname has the suffix -ova (with an acute accent on the a), e.g. Schindler (m), Schindlerova (f); when the masculine form ends in a short vowel(i.e., one without an acute accent), this vowel is dropped before adding the suffix, thus Fanta (m), Fantova (f), except in names ending in i or y of foreign origin, such as Levi (m), Leviova (f). However, when the name can be considered as derived from an adjective in Czech, or is of an adjectival form, such as Levy (with an acute accent on the y) (m), appearing to be derived from the Czech for "left," the feminine is formed as if it were an adjective, hence Leva (with an acute accent on the a) (f). Names ending in -ek or -ec in the masculine form usually drop the e in the feminine form, such as Jelinek (m), Jelinkova (f), Moravec (m), Moravcova (f), but practice is not consistent and the feminine form of Hayek (m) appears as both Haykova (f) and Hayekova (f), and of Hatschek (m), as Hatschkova (f) and Hatschekova (f). The adjectival form also influenced a small number of names derived from nouns. so that Krejci (with a hacek on the c) (m), from the Czech for "tailor," remains unchanged as Krejci (with a hacek on the c) (f) in the feminine form.
For an outline of the grammatical rules and exceptions to them in actual practice see, for instance, Bohuslav Havranek and Alois Jedlicka, Ceska mluvnice (Praha: SPN, 1963), pp. 118, 157-58.
The following note on existing sources used (directly or indirectly) in the present project was prepared by the reviewer on the basis of information provided in the publication (pp. 55-61) in Czech only.
1. The basic source is the card index prepared in the immediate postwar period by the Records Office [evidencni oddeleni] of the Rada zidovskych nabozenskych obci v Cechach a na Morave [Council of Jewish Religious Communities in Bohemia and Moravia], comprising a central card index together with a series of supplementary indexes built up on the basis of the then-available sources, such as lists and written material of the Rada starsich v Praze [Council of Elders in Prague], the successor of the Prazska zidovska nabozenska obec [Prague Jewish Religious Community] closed down in 1943. The central card index made use of lists of [deportation] transports then held by the repatriation section of the Ministerstvo ochrany prace a socialni pece [Ministry of the protection of labour and of social welfare] and material lent by the narodni sprava [national custodian] of the Ustredna pro zidovske vystehovatelstvi [Central Office for Jewish Emigration], later renamed Ustredni urad pro usporadani zidovske otazky [Central Office for the Solution of the Jewish Problem]. This card index is currently being held in the archive of the Federace zidovskych obci v Ceske republice [Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech republic].
2. The second source was the book Terezin-ghetto, published by the Ministerstvo ochrany prace a socialni pece [Ministry of the protection of labour and social welfare] in 1945. This includes the names and basic personal details of all prisoners deported to Terezin and liberated in Terezin, arranged in two sections: the first, of those deported before 20 April 1945, the second of the fewer than 14,000 survivors of death marches from concentration camps "evacuated" just ahead of the liberators.
3. The result of the work between 1968 and 1972 of the Jewish Committee for Terezin [Juedisches Komitee fuer Theresienstadt] in Vienna (Austria) was made available in the form of a microfilm listing nearly 120,000 prisoners of the Terezin "ghetto." This database made use, inter alia, of the records in the Prague central card index (noted in 1, above), and microfilms of records held by the International Search Service [Internationaler Suchdienst] in Arolsen (Germany). Copies of this listing were presented to the Pamatnik Terezin [Memorial "Terezin"] in Prague, the International Search Service in Arolsen, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and other institutions. The names are grouped by countries from which the deportations took place, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and the Netherlands (all in the pre-1938 borders), and other "Foreign" according to citizenship of the prisoner. It was expected that the various countries of origin of the victims would carry out further work on the listings, and the first printed database, for Austria, was published as Totenbuch Theresienstadt (Wien: Juedisches Komitee fuer Theresienstadt, 1971) and an enlarged and corrected edition, Totenbuch Oesterreich - Deportierte aus Oesterreich (Wien: [Mary Steinhauser and] Dokumentationsarchiv des oesterreichischen Widerstandes [DOW], 1987). The entries include given name, surname, date of birth, prisoner's number for the transport to Terezin, and date of death in Terezin, rarely recorded when following a further deportation.
4. By 1991 both the political environment and the technological facilities available for work in this area had changed radically, and work was started by the Terezinska iniciativa with the help of the Ustav teorie informace a automatizace Akademii ved v Praze (UTIA) [Institute for the Theory of Information and Automation of the Academy of Sciences] on the first machine-readable database of the names and personal details of some 150,000 victims deported to Terezin. On 25 November 1993 a report on the first stage of the project "Stopadesat tisic jmen--stopadesat tisic lidskych osudu" [150,000 names--150,000 human fates (sic--a more appropriate term might be tragedies)] together with the database on a set of diskettes was presented to President Vaclav Havel. This database made use of the data in 2 and 3, above, together with data on some 3,400 prisoners who survived a further deportation from Terezin, gathered from various sources.
5. In the second stage of the project (see 4, above) the database was enlarged by the addition of data for the transports from Prague to Lodz and Ujazdow, from Brno to Minsk, from Moravska Ostrava to Nisko, and by data on the Jewish prisoners in the "Little Fortress" in Terezin. This second stage provided the data for the present publication following an exhaustive checking and cross-checking of data obtained from sources held in the archive of the III. oddeleni Statniho ustredniho archivu Koncentracni State Central Archive Concentration Camps - Occupation Prison tabory - okupacni vezenske spisy (KT-OVS) [Third Section of the Records]. This archive comprises two parts. The first part comprises documents from prisons and courts in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and fragmentary documentation of this type from Berlin and Breslau, all for the period 1939 to 1945. The second part comprises documents from concentration camps, penitentiaries and prison transports, card indexes and registers, including:
1) Transport lists to the Terezin "ghetto" from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia:
a) sequential number of the person in the transport
b) surname and name, and, in some cases, the academic title
d) date of birth
e) last address before deportation
f) registration number of the person
g) code and number of transport from Terezin
h) date of death in Terezin
The registration number (f) is the personal identity number assigned to each individual person falling within the scope of the Nuremberg "laws."
2) Transport lists from Terezin to further concentration camps:
As 1), above, except that e) includes the code and number of the transport to Terezin. These lists represent the actual "despatch lists" for each transport.
3) Deportation card index of persons sent to Terezin from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia:
a) name and surname, and, in some cases, the academic title
c) registration number
d) last address before deportation
e) date of birth
f) particulars of return
g) date and code of transport to Terezin
h) date, code, and destination of transport from Terezin
ch) particulars of death in Terezin or other concentration camp.
The card index comprises some 74,000 cards, which appear to have been prepared on the basis of transportation lists and updated with information on return by the repatriation section of the Ministerstvo ochrany prace a socialni pece [Ministry of the protection of labour and social welfare].
4) The original card index of the Terezin "ghetto": In most cases two cards were completed for each person: one for identification purposes, the other for "residential" ones. It is highly probable that this card index includes only persons liberated from the Terezin "ghetto," including those arriving after 20 April 1945 with the death marches. Information recorded is similar to that recorded in 3), with the addition of religion. The "residence" card includes information of the address of the prisoner in Terezin and of the departure from or date of death in Terezin after liberation.
5) Card index of survivors of those transported to "the east":
a) name and surname
b) date of birth
c) region from which the person had been transported to Terezin
d) date and code of transport to Terezin
e) date and code of transport from Terezin to "the east"
f) particulars of return and address
A list of survivors, based on this card-index, also exists.
6) Card index of prisoners who died in the Terezin "ghetto":
a) name and surname
b) place and date of birth
c) names of parents (not invariably included)
e) address before deportation
f) date and place of death
g) note (usually designation of transport to Terezin)
This card index includes cards for all prisoners dying in Terezin, i.e., including also those from regions outside the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The card index, compiled after the war, is based on contemporary documents from Terezin and accounts of witnesses.
7) Card index of prisoners cremated in the Terezin "ghetto":
Includes only name and surname, registration number, and date of cremation.
The KT-OVS archives (see 5, above) also include a card index of deportations to Terezin and incomplete transport lists from regions outside the Protectorate.
The Archives of the Pamatnik Terezin [Terezin Memorial] received in 1986 from the Rada zidovskych nabozenskych obci v Praze [Council of Jewish Religious Communities in Prague] contains registration lists of Jewish inhabitants in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and transport lists of all transports from the Protectorate to Terezin. The transportation lists were annotated, immediately after the War in the Rada, with information about date of death in Terezin, whether transported from Terezin, which transport and transport number, and whether survived. Noted here is also information about the handing over of the prisoner to the Gestapo, escapes, and, in a few cases, "de-ghettoization." The records also include information about children born in Terezin and their fate.
The files of direct deportation transports from Prague and Brno to Lodz, Minsk, amd Ujazdow are held in the Zidovske muzeum v Praze [Jewish Museum in Prague], formerly the Statni Zidovske muzeum v Praze [State Jewish Museum in Prague].
Some of the remaining problems of identification were cleared up with the help of an analogous project at Beit Theresienstadt, Givat Chaim Ichud, Israel (Alisah Schillerova, Head) and materials from the estate of G. Weiss in the archives of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel.
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