Posted at 11:59h
in Dig Deeper
The cutting room floor is full of passages that I still really love but that didn't quite fit in the book. I have a particularly soft spot for Beit Terezín, and this intro from the original manuscript gives you more of an idea of its beautiful history.
The dream of a permanent living monument to the Nazis' model camp first took hold in May 1955, at a gathering in Israel of about one hundred and fifty survivors. Its primary stated aim was to honour the memory of those who had perished in the Holocaust, but those gathered identified another, much more practical, need for such an institution. Back in Czechoslovakia, the Communist regime was recasting the Holocaust to exclude Jews as the primary targets of Nazi barbarism. Indeed, annihilation of Czech Jewry was, in the new regime's eyes, merely coincidental. Jews featured prominently amongst the political prisoners and intelligentsia who met their deaths in either the Small Fortress, that corner of Theresienstadt used as both prison and execution ground, or in the death camps to the east, and this accounted for the disproportionate number of them in the final tally. But it was for their political affiliations that they were targeted,...