Karalyn Knight: The “Happier” Side of Dispair

Death, disease, and dispair are words used to describe the conditions of a concentration camp. However, todays visit was slightly different. Those same adjectives can be used to describe Terezín, the concentration camp, but considering other camps this one was good for the situation. Terezín was not a camp for execution but rather a working camp. Many prisioners did anything possible to reduce the risk of getting sick. They knew sickness ment being sent away, sent away to die. Prisioners would remove their sheets and pillows to sleep on wooden boards just to reduce the spread of lice and other diseases. The “happy” part is that the adult prisioners worked together to steal pens and paper so that the children could draw. This presented them with a connection to a normal childhood and offered self expression. Adults also formed choir groups. Their music kept them sane and showed the Nazis’s they were not giving up. World War II was a devastating time but for the situation many people were put through, Terezín was a “happier” place. I am fortunate to have been about to see such a place but I am looking forward to the royal side of Prague with our visit to the castle!


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