Govt. pledges funds for renewal of Terezín, second fortress town

Photo: Lucie Heyzlová, Czech Radio

The government has earmarked major investment for Terezín, site of the Czech lands’ biggest WWII Jewish ghetto, and Josefov, another 18th century garrison town. The project is based on two aims – preservation and development.

Terezín, known as Theresienstadt in German, was established in the 18th century as a military fortress town by Emperor Joseph II. He named it after his mother, the Empress Maria Theresa, and it was intended to serve as a defence against invasions from Prussia.

During World War II the Germans turned the town north of Prague into a Jewish ghetto. Over 30,000 Jews died at the transit camp itself, while nearly 90,000 prisoners were later murdered at Nazi extermination camps.

Though today home to a Holocaust memorial, Terezín has fallen into increasing disrepair in recent times, a state that has been highlighted by international media reports.

But now the Czech government is taking action to rectify the situation, pledging to invest around CZK 3 billion in Terezín and another 18th century fortress town, Josefov in East Bohemia.

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Author: Ian Willoughby, Source:Český rozhlas