Terezín (Theresienstadt) is a fortress and fortress town north-northwest of Prague. During the German occupation of Czechoslovakia (March 15, 1939 – May 08, 1945), the fortress was used by the Nazis as a police prison and the walled town as a ghetto for Jews.
The ghetto also served two more sinister purposes. First, it was a propaganda coup used to convince the international community that Germany treated its Jewish population leniently. Second, it was a major transshipment point for “transports to the East,” overwhelmingly Auschwitz-Birkenau.
During the four years of the occupation, over 35,000 people perished in Terezín. Many of those lie buried there.
We lie here – whole villages and towns.
An old man next to mother, woman, child.
Our human journey did not end with death.
We did not reach our destiny, but you, you must!
Here they tortured twenty six thousand of us to death.
The blood that flowed from us, flows once more.
We died, so our loved ones could live.
To honor our memory, defend humanity!
To me, these are timely and proper words to remember as we watch the world descend into chaos and hear fanatics demand torture and beheading of anyone who refuses to submit meekly to their dictates. Only grim determination and steady strength defeated murderous fanaticism then. And only grim determination and steady strength will defeat it now.