On my blog post today, I am answering a comment made by Wolf Murmelstein; he wrote the following:
“I remember the Saturday of September 1942 when the Nazis came in Vienna Home of Jewish aged persons enlisting all of them for deportation…”
The implication, in this comment, is that the aged persons were taken to Theresienstadt where they were killed in the gas chambers, which Wolf believes were in existence at Theresienstadt.
Several years ago, I wrote, on my website, about the elderly persons who were sent to Theresienstadt.
The following information is from this page on my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/GhettoTour/Tour09.html
By the time that the Nazis started deporting the Jews from Germany, there were less than 200,000 of them left in the country; all the others had already emigrated to escape the Nazi persecution.
Forty percent of the remaining Jews in Germany were over 60 years old, as the children and young people had been the first to leave. After Austria became part of the Greater German Reich in March 1938, the Jews were forced to emigrate to any country that would take them, and only 15,000 old people were allowed to remain.
All of these elderly Austrian Jews were deported to Theresienstadt where their mortality rate was the highest of all.
Between Parkstrasse and Wallstrasse on the east side of the former Theresienstadt ghetto is the Hohenelbe barracks shown in the photograph above.
This was the central hospital for the Jewish inmates in the ghetto. There were public baths, showers and a swimming pool located here. The building included a kitchen which prepared food for the hospital patients.
Behind this building is a large bastion jutting out from the town walls which you can get a glimpse of on the extreme left of the photo above. Located between the walls of the bastion was the Kavalir barracks.
This area served as the processing center for incoming inmates in 1942, and the original reception center was converted into a warehouse where clothing taken from the incoming prisoners was stored.
Later, the Kavalir barracks was used to house the very old prisoners and also prisoners brought to Theresienstadt from the Jewish insane asylums in the Greater German Reich. Some of the insane people were placed in locked cells in the basement where they had to sleep on bare stone floors. In September 1942 Jewish inmates of the Berlin Home for the Blind were put into the Kavalir barracks.
I have a map of Theresienstadt, which shows the location of all the barracks, on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/CzechRepublic/Theresienstadt/TheresienstadtGhetto/GhettoTour/Map.html