Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Terezín Concentration Camp

During our first travel week, our second stop was Prague in the Czech Republic. We were there for three days and it was a gorgeous city. We walked around and saw the Old Town Square, St. Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. They were especially beautiful at night when they were all lit up.

On our second day in Prague, we decided to take a bus to the Terezin concentration camp about an hour outside of the city. The bus dropped us off in the small town and we walked across a river to the camp. It was a former military fortress built in the late 18th century and Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand was imprisoned there. Then it was used during WWII as a concentration camp and for POWs.

We toured the entire fortress and saw the prison cells, showers, bathrooms, hospital and even walked through the underground tunnel of the fortress. I think walking into the room with wooden bunk beds was the point that stuck out in my mind. I've always seen clips from movies, documentaries or pictures out of books of the bare accommodations. This time, the room where 100 innocent Jewish people were kept was right in front of me.

Although it was pretty intense visiting Terezin, I'm really glad we took the time to see it for ourselves. I feel like it's something everyone should experience at some point in their lives.

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