Terezin as it looked
in October 2000
Old buildings in Terezin
were badly in need of restoration work in October 2000
Many of the buildings
in Terezin are in a sad state of disrepair
The photograph above, taken in 2000,
shows an abandoned building in the former Theresienstadt ghetto
where all the buildings were once in pristine condition during
the Red Cross visit in the spring of 1944 after the Nazis did
a beautification of the town to impress the inspectors.
About half the buildings in Terezin were
empty when I visited the town in 2000, and their stucco walls
were crumbling so that the bricks underneath were exposed. Some
of the inhabited buildings were also in a sad state of decay.
There were many broken windows in the abandoned buildings, and
even some missing window glass in the inhabited apartment buildings.
It was hard for me to believe that, in today's world, people
are still living in such squalor.
I saw one new apartment building, which
is of typical Communist construction, built in the Bauhaus modern
style out of cheap materials. It is very obviously out of place
in this historic town full of neo-classical buildings from the
Terezin looks like six square blocks
in the heart of a large city, rather than a typical small town
or village. Although the old fortifications are still standing,
a road runs through the town and it is not completely closed
off by walls.
There are no single family dwellings
or front yards in the whole town. All of the buildings are large,
sometimes the length of the block, and most of the buildings
have hidden courtyards in the center. I could see though the
open doors into some of the courtyards of the inhabited buildings;
they were filled with junk and sometimes criss-crossed with clotheslines
where laundry was hung out to dry. The photograph below shows
a typical courtyard in Terezin.
The buildings in Terezin
have inner courtyards
The town is laid out in a perfect grid
pattern with six major streets running north and south and seven
alleys or narrow streets running east and west, although the
streets are not precisely pointing due north and south.
Besides the main town square, there are
three other small parks: the Stadt Park (City Park), the Brunnen
Park (Fountain Park) and the Kleiner Park (Small park).
Brunnen park was deserted
in October 2000
Old building in the
town of Terezin
Residence in Terezin,
the former Theresienstadt ghetto
Nice residential building
in Terezin, 2000 photo