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OBJECT OF THE MONTH – March 2009


The Terezín Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau

Child’s Jacket (for a child aged 4–6), probably from 1941–45
Child’s Jacket (for a child aged 4–6), probably from 1941–45.
Inv. No. JMP 179.125
Acquired in 2007 from the Bazar-Antik office in Prague; the wartime fate of the person whose jacket it was is not known.

In March 2009 we will be commemorating the 65th anniversary of the murder of the majority of the prisoners of the Terezín Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. About 17,500 Jews from the Terezín ghetto were deported to this special section of Birkenau between September 1943 and May 1944. When they arrived at the camp they received privileges that were unprecedented for prisoners in Auschwitz: none of them were sent to the gas chambers straight away, their heads were not shaved and they were allowed to keep their civilian clothes from Terezín. In addition, men, women and children were housed together in Section BIIb, which even had a children’s block – which is why it was called a “family” camp. These “advantages”, however, were limited to a period of six months and were connected with an attempt to deceive the international public and the International Red Cross, which had announced a visit. During two operations on 8 March and 10-12 July 1944, however, most of the prisoners of the Terezín Family Camp were sent to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. This was the largest single murder of Czechoslovak citizens during the Second World War.
 
For more information, see (in Czech): www.holocaust.cz/cz2/history/events/family_camp
 

 


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