Austrian Traces in Theresienstadt

With this project we, the Terezín Initiative Institute, would like to build a living bridge between the Czech Republic and Austria in order to shed light on an important part of our shared Central European history. We strive to fill the gaps in Holocaust education by developing teaching materials that reveal a hitherto hidden aspect of this dark period. Our aim is to deconstruct the idyllic image of a Jewish town propagated by the Nazis and to place Theresienstadt in the broader context of the Holocaust.


Materials for School Lessons

The teaching materials are also available free of charge in digital form.


The first part describes the history of the ghetto and the Theresienstadt concentration camp in general, with a special focus on the Austrian traces. Questions are asked after each chapter to help students reflect on and deepen understanding of what they have read.

The second part contains original documents and their translations on the fate of Regina Machlupová. By examining these documents, the pupils should learn not only what information can be gleaned from the archives, but also gain an insight into Regina Machlupová's life.

On the final page, students can look forward to a poem by Leo Strauss, which he wrote during his time in Theresienstadt. This poetic depiction of a dark time asks students not only to consider the content of the poem, but also to reflect on the profound background. It offers a unique opportunity to engage with the emotions and experiences of people in difficult situations and to recognize humanity in the midst of horror.


Group work

The topic offers the opportunity to approach the fate of individuals by means of group work. Further information and descriptions can be found in the following document:

Group Work Instructions

We recommend that you follow the enclosed guidelines when working with personal stories and testimonials. This also provides helpful information regarding possible questions.


As part of the group work, Regina Machlupová’s original documents of will be used and will be supplemented by the fate of Adéla Friedová.

Regina Machlupová 

Adéla Friedová 

In addition to Leo Strauss' text "Als-Ob", we would like to offer the writer Myra Gruhenberg-Strauss a well-deserved platform too. To this end, we present two texts which Gruhenberg-Strauss wrote during her time in Theresienstadt for the so-called "literary Strauss cabaret" and which are also suitable for interpretation as part of group work.

Text Myra Gruhenberg-Strauss 

Helga Pollak's drawing can also be used for group work and interpretation.

Drawing by Helga Pollak 



We also offer the option of coming to your school and holding a workshop on the topic. This can be tailored to your needs and interests. Everything is possible, from a general overview of the history of Austrian Jews in Theresienstadt to in-depth insights into individual fates. Our aim is to offer pupils an interactive and educational experience. 

If you are interested, please contact Thomas Elmecker at


This project was funded by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency and the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.


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12. 4. 2024

It includes an invitation to Yom HaShoah in Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic, an article on the 30th anniversary of ITI and information about our many activities:

  1. Commemoration at Auschwitz-Birkenau

  2. The MemoMap exhibition: History of the Holocaust in Prague

  3. International cooperation
  1. Anne Frank Youth Network
  2. MemoGIS Workshop
  3. Austrian Traces in Terezín
9. 4. 2024

This year's 19th annual public reading of the names of Holocaust victims, "Yom HaShoah", will take place on 6 May 2024. The names of victims of Nazi persecution will be read in 31 cities across the Czech Republic, commemorating the fate of those who were murdered during the Second World War.

22. 3. 2024

About a month ago, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Terezín Initiative Institute at the invitation of Austrian Ambassador Bettina Kirnbauer. Till Janzer from Radio Prague International also reported on the event. You can read or listen to the article under the following link (only in German).

21. 3. 2024

We would like to invite you to an educational workshop called "Art Against Death", which we are organizing. This workshop will take place on April 13, 2024 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm in Prague.

15. 3. 2024

The latest Anne Frank Youth Network action project is complete!

9. 3. 2024
On Friday, 8 March, we held a commemorative act in the BIIb section of the former concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, where the so-called Terezín Family Camp was located, to honor the memory of the people who were murdered on the night of 8 to 9 March 1944. In addition to the director of the Terezín Initiative Institute, Tomáš Kraus, the event was attended by the director of the Terezín Memorial, Jan Roubínek, the director of Beit Terezín (Israel), Tami Kinberg, the chairwoman of the board of the Terezín Initiative Institute, Michaela Rozov, and on behalf of the Jewish Museum in Prague, Jana Šplíchalová.
We would also like to thank the Auschwitz Memorial for its patronage and, last but not least, all the participants for joining us in honouring their memory.
7. 3. 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.