The Terezín Initiative Institute will commemorate the anniversary of the largest mass murder of Czechoslovak citizens

07. 03. 2024

In September 1943, five thousand Jews from the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were transported from the Terezín concentration camp to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in two transports for reasons that have not yet been made clear. 

Unlike all previous transports, these male and female prisoners were not subjected to selection after a harrowing journey at the point of arrival, nor were they separated but left together. This is how the Terezín "family" camp was created, which was located in the part of the prison complex designated BIIb. In inhuman conditions, but with the hope of survival, these families spent six months there. Historical sources do not indicate what the Nazi camp command's intention was with these people; there was speculation about a possible exchange for unspecified supplies, possibly via Switzerland, which has never been confirmed, and the announced visit of the International Red Cross to Terezín probably played a role. After six months, the Terezín prisoners were told that they would be going to another labour camp. Instead, they were taken to the gas chambers, where 3,792 men, women and children were murdered on the night of 8-9th March 1944.

That was 80 years ago.

The Terezín Initiative Institute has decided to commemorate this anniversary directly at the site where the tragedy took place. The delegation, which will include Jan Roubínek, Director of the Terezín Memorial, Tami Kinberg, Director of the Israeli Beit Terezín Memorial, Michaela Rozov, Chair of the ITI Board of Trustees, as well as professors and students from schools with which the Institute has long cooperated, will hold a commemoration on the grounds of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, on the site of the former BIIb section. The commemorative act will take place on 8 March 2024 at 15.00. The event will also be available to watch on the Institute's streaming platforms.