Small fortress Theresienstadt

Plan von Theresienstadt
plan of Theresienstadt
fortress plan of 1869
the administrative yard of the small fortress
prison cell in the camp of the small fortress
Der Nationalfriedhof vor den Mauern der Kleinen Festung
the national cemetery before the walls of the small fortress

the small fortress (marks Pevnost) is some of Theresienstadt, the end 18. Century as a fortification of emperor Josef II. one built.

In 19. Century was used it as prison for prisoners of war and political prisoners. After German occupation Böhmens and Mährens in March 1939 became short in the “small fortress” to 10. June 1940 the prison of the Prager Gestapo taken over.

In November 1941 the national socialists established the Ghetto Theresienstadt to the “garrison town” then in the other part of Theresienstadts .

Table of contents

K&K monarchy

the small fortress was used already soon after its establishment (1780 to 1790) as prison. Beside numerous military prisoners the K&K monarchy arrested here political prisoners, among other things the Greek freedom fighter Alexandros Ypsilanti, Hungarian and Czech insurgent ones of 1848 or also the authors of the assassination attempt of Sarajevo (Gavrilo Princip among other things), which d'Este with the murder of the Austrian successor to the throne Franz Ferdinand the First World War released.

time of the national socialism

during the Okkupation Böhmens and Mährens by Nazi Germany became in June 1940 on instruction of pure hard Heydrich, which deputy realm tread of Böhmen and Mähren, in the small fortress a Gestapo - prison furnished

the Nazis used the infrastructure, which was already present, and “perfected” the place. They removal it to a component of their repression and destruction apparatus. The prison was administered by the Gestapo agency in Prague. At the beginning there were only male prisoners, after the successful assassination attempt on pure hard Heydrich in June 1942 a woman department was only furnished. To the existing three prison yards 1943 fourth were added, which was intended for male prisoners.

Between 1940 and 1945 by the different agencies of the Gestapo approximately 27,000 men and 5,000 women were transferred to the prison Theresienstadt, first also with arrested one from Prague, then out completely Böhmen and starting from 1944 also from Mähren into the police prison Theresienstadt, predominantly Czechs, under it many Widerständler against the Nazi regime, in addition, citizens of the Soviet Union, from Poland, Yugoslavia and against end of war prisoner from the numbers of the allied armies.

Of it about 8,000 in other camps died, into which they were deportiert up to the end of the war. 2.500 did not survive the camp after torture, diseases and due to the work and living conditions and about 250 in the fortress was executed - under it also persons from the “Ghetto”, because the execution place was both for prisoners of the “small fortress” as well as the “Ghettos” a place in the “small fortress”.

Commander of the Gestapo prison was since its mechanism SS - main tower leader Heinrich Jöckel, that the 1. Company of the SS-Wachbataillons Böhmen and Mähren kommandierte.

In the plants of the small fortress a memorial place exists.



  • Heinrich Jöckel, SS-Hauptsturmführer, commander of the Gestapogefängnisses “small fortress”, 1946 executed
  • Stefan Rojko, custodian in the Gestapogefängnis, 1963 of the regional court Graz to lifelong detention because of killing and abusing with death sequence of political prisoners and Jews condemns
  • Anton Malloth (1912-2002), custodians in the Gestapogefängnis, 2001 condemned by the regional court Munich because of murder of a prisoner to life imprisonment.

post-war period

after that 2. World war was furnished in the small fortress an internment camp for Germans, which should be driven out from Tschechien. An exhibition in areas of the small fortress treats this part of the history of Theresienstadt.

On initiative the Czech government decided to make of former prisoners and surviving dependent 1947 from the small fortress of Terezin a memorial place.


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