Sunday, July 13, 2014

Theresienstadt and other Hidden Places

Neither a ghetto nor strictly a concentration camp, Theresienstadt served as a "settlement" and was a unique facility.  It functioned as a propaganda tool of deception..  It was described as a "spa town" where elderly German Jews could "retire" in safety.  It was in reality a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killing centers.  The fortress was surrounded by high walls, so one could could see how the "prisoners" were tortured and stoned, especially the children. 10,500 children passed through this camp, and only 242 survived.  After the Nazis would kill the "prisoners", other inmates took them to the back side of the ghettos through confined tunnels.  In 1942, the death rate was so high that the Germans built a crematorium capable of handling almost 200 bodies a day.   They were even planning to build gas chambers even though they were losing the war.  They had one goal and only one goal:  eliminate the Jews and anyone else who was "unpure."

As I said, this place was filled with deception different from the other concentration camps.  Thersiendstadt had a highly developed, cultured life.  Outstanding Jewish artists, mainly from Czech, Austria, and Germany, created drawings and paintings, some of them clandestine depictions of the ghetto's harsh reality.  Writers, professors, musicians, and actors gave lectures, concerts, and theater performances.  Although forbidden to do so, the children attended school.  They painted pictures, wrote poetry, and tried to maintain a life of normalcy. 

Succumbing to pressure following the deportation of Danish Jews, the Germans permitted the International Red Cross to visit in June 1944.  It was all an elaborate hoax.  The ghetto was beautified.  Gardens were planted, houses painted, barracks renovated, and playgrounds created.  .  The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries.  They even made Kurt Gerron, a filmmaker, direct a Nazi propaganda film about the ghetto.  He later died in Auschwitz.    http://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=565  PLEASE COPY AND PASTE LINK TO WATCH.

The Danish government is recognized as being one that actually cared about what happened to its Jews.  Once the visit was over and the Red Cross and government gave its "okay", life as hell resumed for the inmates. 

In this town, there was a small hidden synagogue.  The SS weren't worried about its establishment.  They were concerned that the prisoners would send out pictures, art, and secret messages depicting the true nature of this place.  Written on the walls in Hebrew are the following inscriptions:

"May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in compassion."

"We beg You, turn your back from Your anger and have mercy on the treasured nation that You have chosen."

"But despite all this, we have not forgotten Your Name.  We beg You not to forget us."

"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill."

"Know before whom you stand."

Hidden messages










4-5 prisoners per shower

These machines were used to delouse clothes...not the prisoner outfits.....the clothes the inmates were wearing when they arrived.  The Nazis did not want to catch any diseases from the Jews and other prisoners. 


This was the INFIRMARY/HOSPITAL


FAKE SINKS that were presented to the Red Cross!




Paintings and Drawings by children






181 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you are reporting first hand on the Nazi inhuman treatment of the Jewsih Men ,Women and children. It is Just beyond believe. Those article should
    part of current history books in all US schools.

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  2. It's honestly sickening to see how much effort was put into pretending that conditions were good when reality they were so far from it. Why pretend to be what you can really be? That shows the conscience. They were aware of the moral injustice that's why they made such an effort to cover it up.

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  3. "The ghetto was beautified." I had to reread that a few times because of how those words sound when paired together. No amount of flowers, playgrounds, fake sinks, etc… could ever disguise the pure evil that was (and probably still is) radiating out of the ghetto. All of the lies the Nazis told… the ways they manipulated the Jews… the things they would do to cover up their inhumane acts… it just baffles me and sickens me. Evil doesn't even begin to describe the Nazis and their horrible ways.

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  4. It's horrifying seeing Theresienstadt. How the Germans covered the whole place up just to show the Red Cross. I wonder why? Why did they need to show the red cross? The worst part of this was the video. Dressing up the Jews like dolls and making the place seem "livable". As if they were going to and from work wearing pretty nice clothes. Also I wonder when the red cross or that director was there in the... place, why didn't the Jews lash out or show them that this place was hell? Even if that meant death they could've done something. Maybe I'm oblivious to what was happening when the Red Cross was there, but it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

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  5. What kind of good, beautiful place would have high walls to hide from the world? I can't believe it. Nazis snatching kids from their parents', and the sad thing is that the kids possibly thought they were safe at this camp with the play grounds and all the other kids there. What did the kids ever do to the Nazis? When the Nazis would kill the kids, the kids would wonder what they did wrong or what they did to deserve this. Very sad and sick. Most of Nazis soldiers had to of had childern so how could they kill someones kid?

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  6. Reading this and discovering that only two percent of the kids in the place survived was shocking. It makes no sense why all these kids would die in this "settlement". A "settlement" that was beautiful when the Red Cross came to visit but returned to a hell hole once it left. Walls so high so that others can't see the torturing taking place is disgusting. The propaganda video only shows the work and production being made in the place. It doesn't come close to the tragedy Jews faced while in Theresienstadt. It's surprising how quickly they tidied the place up for others in order to cover up the murder and malicious activity.

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  7. This "settlement" is an exemplary example of Nazi deceit. What confused me the most about this was, why did the people living in the "settlement" not tell the people from the Red Cross what was really happening in the "settlement." The fact that they needed such a large crematorium there is horrible because that means they were killing people so often that they needed to upgrade the size of their crematorium. The fact that 10,258 children were killed there is a horrible crime against humanity.

    -Nicholas James Harrison Hicks

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    1. No one would believe them and if they got caught, they would get killed.

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  8. I keep getting shocked every time I read another blog. The fact they but on a show just to deceive the public is insane. Did the Red Cross or the Danish Government really not notice the hell it actually was? Did they not smell the death in the air? Plus the fact they dressed up the inmates to put on a show for the other visitors is sickening. I'm still on the idea that all the kids were practically murdered! Wouldn't having children in your camp help the other visitors think they were in a "Settlement." This is great you're reporting the awful acts of Nazis.

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    1. I'm a little confused that the people didn't see through the deception...it doesn't take a genius to figure it out. But then they would have to DO something...which is something we know countries that DID know, did not do.

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  9. The Nazis' ability to create euphemisms for every tragedy they commit continues to astound me. To call a place with a 2.4 percent survival rate for children a "spa" is disgusting. It is sad to think that the most any country did to to help the Jews was send the Red Cross to the camp for a few days. Did they really think the Nazis would allow the world to really see what was going on? Also, the fact that the Nazis hid the acts they were committing proves my previous point that they knew what they were doing was wrong. The only positive section of this article was that the Jews refused to be submissive and continued to oppose the Nazis in any way that they could.

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    1. totally agree...so were they really brainwashed? Bring this up during the discussions!!!

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  10. I can't believe how deceiving this whole process was. This is eye opening to how important propaganda really was in Germany's plan. Working and production is not even close to what was going on behind those walls! I can't believe how many children died here. Not only were they hidden , but the Red Cross inspected the camp! Could they not have inspected it thoroughly? They extent in which the Germans went to execute the Final Solution becomes harder and harder to believe the more I read about it.

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  11. wow... After watching that video all I have to say how fake was that!But for a second I almost believed it wasn't that bad!That's just crazy to think about! How messed up was that! calling a concentration camp a "spa". Also, I cannot believe that only 242 children came out alive out of 10,500 that passed through. I'm disgusted that the redcross didn't figure out that it was a sham! Again. worse and worse!

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    1. You will never see more euphamisms and irony than during the Holocaust.

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  12. Ugh this makes me mad. The Nazis once again got away with what they were doing. Just lies, after lies, after lies. That’s awful!! They made it look like everything was all good and that the people liked it there. It must have taken a lot for the Jews to put on a brave face and smile to make it seem like they were happy. I don’t think I could do that. If I was one of the Jewish people there, I would have done SOMETHING. A note, a facial expression, or some kind of evidence to show what everyday life at Theresienstadt was like and not as they are making it appear.

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    1. They did...they had a lot of hidden messages in their drawings.

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  13. After reading this, I am shocked at how the Nazis were able to cover all the horrors of the concentration camp up. It is unfortunate how smart these Nazis were. They knew that giving the camp a cover would keep the peace and stop the incoming Jews from panicking, and they were somehow able to deceive the Red Cross. One thing I hate to read about is the children. That is the hardest part to bear because that could have been us. I think a lot of people can’t stand to read about the murdering of the children because of their innocence. It is surreal how only 242 children survived of over 10,000 children, and they were killed by civilized men with families of their own.

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    1. That number is staggering and during the deception, they were treated better...

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  14. "The ghetto was beautified" If this phrase alone doesn't define Nazi manipulation and duplicity, then I've learned nothing about the Nazis. I'm not surprised a government would do such a thing as to conceal the horrors they've committed, but the amount of children who were killed by those heartless bastards is one of the things that really impacts me as that could've been us or even our siblings. Nazi propaganda was so "masterfully" pieced and executed that it almost slaps you across the face, the filmmaker who was forced to make a film about the ghetto, the artists who were forced to paint upon the walls with which their deaths would be marked, and then the children going to school in an attempt for "normalcy" irked me and gave me a chill down my spine.

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  15. They must have known they were doing something wrong; otherwise, why would they try to conceal it?

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  16. I can't believe they said this ghetto was considered to be beautiful. By covering this place up with flowers,Gardens were planted, houses painted, barracks renovated, playgrounds created, and having fake sinks. As all of this was a cover up to show the red cross and for the jewish people not to be scared before entering into a place that they would never forget. When the red cross didn't know the real horror that was going on inside and out of this ghetto. In the video it shows also how fake they made this ghetto to be, making it look like an enjoyable place when it really is a living hell. It is just disgusting to think they did all this work to cover this place up…with them knowing they had to cover it up somehow or they would get caught for doing all the horrible things if they didn't.

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  17. It's scary how manipulative the Germans were. How they could hide this death camp from enough people to get away with it. I can't believe they made fake sinks to trick the Red Cross. Did the Red Cross not test them or were they in on this also? Another reason they got away with it is because of intimidation. They probably threatened the Red Cross to not tell what was going on there. It disgusts me that they had to live in such filth with each other. I couldn't even stand being so close to so many people.

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  18. How could the Jews be so manipulated into believing they were going to a “spa” to retire? It’s unbelievable that the Germans were so brilliant at deception. It is really devastating that so many young innocent children were killed in this camp. When the International Red Cross were permitted a visit, it’s not surprising that the Nazis quickly acted to beautify the camps. Could the Red Cross not identify they were hiding something under all the beauty? I’m assuming they just didn’t look around closely enough, or the Nazis do an exceptional job at hiding all the evidence? I don’t understand why the Nazis thought only Jews carried diseases with them. I believe the art made by the children shows how they viewed their experiences of the Holocaust.

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  19. It is scary to see how the Germans treated the people in this camp. Also, calling it "spa town" could be an euphemism for the crematory ovens. How could killing and burning at least 200 people a day be normal for some people? Next, does anyone find it weird that one of the most unique places to hold Jews can also be considered one of the best places for them? They actually had activities to do like paint and write. Finally, I find that the Nazi's would let them do these activities weird considering what the did in other camps.

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  20. For some reason out of all of the different camps or ghettos this one makes me cringe the most. I find it extremely terrifying that the nazis would not let anything stand in their way of reaching their goal. Like Henry said all of these euphemisms that the Nazi used are shocking. Even though they wanted to completely terminate the Jewish population they still tried to keep their image. The fact that the Red Cross had no idea of what was really going on in this area scares me. I cannot imagine how the prisoners must've felt. I'm sure that the word had gotten around that the Red Cross was coming. Imagining if you were a prisoner knowing that people from the outside are coming in and have no idea what so ever about it is torture within itself.

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  21. How low could the Nazis go to carry out this 'Final Solution'? A spa? Really? Huge Euphemism. How could people that weren't prisoners be so oblivious to the whole situation? Starting off with 10,000 children and only 242 surviving that's just sad. I'm disgusting by how that could just kill little kids. Then the fake sinks...how the he...whoops... How cruel, vile and manipulative could they be? It shocks me that it took so long for people to realize what was going on and stop it.

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  22. It makes me so furious how the Nazis planted all these things when the Red Cross came to make everything look normal. How in the world did the Red Cross get fooled by these evil people? It makes me sad that so many kids were killed at this settlement and that out of 10,500 only 242 kids survived. It is awful that they used deception to make the prisoners feel as if they were safe when in reality they weren’t at all. I feel since these prisoners got to have a lot more freedom it made dying less horrifying for them and in a way more peaceful. It is cool that they wrote inscribed messages into the wall for people to read. It let helped let the world know what was truly happening.

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  23. I still struggle to comprehend all the euphemisms that the Nazis used that even fooled the world for a short amount of time. They had euphemisms in almost every heinous crime they committed. Not one time have I learned that the Nazis just blatantly said what they were doing without twisted words or lies. Secondly, I’m shocked to why the Nazis would even let the Red Cross Foundation to even see the camp. By then, the world leaders already knew what was going on in Germany yet they still allowed Red Cross to go in and look around. And why would the Nazis let Red Cross come in their camp and look around when they too most likely knew that some of the world knows about their actions. It continues to amaze me how much irony Nazi Germany actually contained also.
    Garrett Hensley

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  24. The group of words that stood out to me the most in this entry were, “the ghetto was beautified.” When I read this, I was taken aback in confusion and then shock once I realized what it meant. I can’t believe that in order to prepare for the Red Cross visit in June 1944, the Nazis made an actual effort to cover up the harsh reality of the ghetto. After watching the propaganda film, I associated positive images/words with the life and working environment of the Jews in Theresienstadt. The “inmates” look properly nourished and happy. Secondly, the popular term of euphemism is again used in this entry. With the description of a “spa town” in which Jews could “retire” safely, these quoted words seem positive to an outsider/at first glance…when in reality they reveal negative actions and encumber the real purpose of the town, which was to exterminate anyone who was “impure.” Finally, the confidence and determination to get rid of all these people even when they were financially unstable and losing the war.

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  25. It’s disgusting how the Nazis tried to cover up the horror of Theresienstadt, and make it nicer to the eyes of the Red Cross. The fact that so many children were tortured and killed is so heartbreaking. How could people murder such innocent lives? It is so true that their only goal was to eliminate the Jews. It’s shocking how in the video the Nazis depicted the Jews’ lives as joyful and carefree. I wonder why though. I remember I read a story on your blog where you said that when England liberated the Jews, the SS soldiers didn’t escape because they thought nothing of what they did was wrong. So, I don’t understand why the Nazis wanted to represent the Jewish population as happy.

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  26. I find it impressive that the Jews were able to keep a high morale in such a devastating, hopeless situation. They continued to live their lives just as they did outside the confinement of the overbearing walls despite their exposure to stoning and other forms of torture. I don’t think I could’ve maintained a normal routine while being constantly surrounded with death. Additionally, the propaganda movie is irritatingly inaccurate; the Jews all had smiles on their faces, so it forced the audience to assume that the Jews were genuinely content with their lives in Theresienstadt. The use of such a happy, upbeat song is just sickening; it mocks the suffering and deaths of everyone who lived at the camp. Furthermore, it must’ve been awful for Kurt Gerron to edit this movie. Not only did he have to deal with material that was unrepresentative of the true nature of the camp, but he wasn’t treated any differently from the other Jews as a result for his services; he suffered and died along with his friends despite his work for the Nazis.

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  27. The entire situation with the red cross shocked me! The fact that the Germans were able to deceive so many people just goes to show how powerful they were. What i don't quite understand is why the Jews didn't do something while the Red Cross were there. Could they not have revolted and tried to show the Red Cross that the place was actually hell? I understand that they might have been killed, but would it not have been worth it to expose the Nazis? Also, was the picture of the graves all an act for the Red Cross, or was that part of some of the things that the Jewish community did? Lastly,I know this is a specific and small question, but how long did they have to shower? if there were 4-5 people a shower, they would need a good amount of time.

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  28. Even though something like this is to be expected, it is still shocking to find out just how deceitful the Nazis were. Maybe the rest of the world knew and tried to ignore it. They tried to cover up the horror from the International Red Cross which means they knew they were doing something wrong! However, the Nazis did all these things and saw nothing inhumane or cruel with it. So, it doesn’t make sense that they would try to hide what they did. Even though they were in inhumane condition, the Jews still had a cultured life by going to school and having concert performances, lectures, and more. They had faith and continued to live the way they wanted even though they are in a condition that is so cruel to them.

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  29. I just can't express how disgusting and shocking I find the Holocaust as I continue to read on and gain more information about it. It's horrible to know many artistic,talented, and poetic individuals couldn't express their talents to the world. However, it's inspiring that people in such pain and misery could attempt to live their day to day lives normally. The Nazis main skill was to deceive and that included deceiving the Red Cross who attempted to help. It is crazy to think that they manipulated and organized all their plans well ahead just to carry out their main goal to exterminate the ones they view as everything but humans. The Holocaust and events like it are just disgusting and cruel.

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  30. It actually surprised me to hear about them killing the Jews in secret. In the other blog posts and handout packets you gave us in class it mentioned that these concentration camps and ghettos were in plain sight. However, now they build high walls so the commoners can't see? Why make it seem as a "settlement" and then build high walls? It seems awfully suspicious. Most people probably caught onto it anyways. I was honestly very furious when I read about how they wanted to build more gas chambers to kill the Jews because it was their one and only "goal". It made me happy to hear that the children went to school even though they weren't supposed to. It showed that there were still people wanting to be resistant. It also made me joyous to read about how the Danish government cared about what was happening to the Jews. It showed that there were still some good people in the world.

    - Anna

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  31. Hi

    Please. There was no way the Nazis could fully hide the suffering of the Jews. The Red Cross saw it; they didn't act on their suspicions (even when they were safe out of Germany). I hate how people act high and mighty against this; we do it ourselves everyday (maybe not covering up such horrific crimes). The winners write history. There are always going to be monsters from either side, and if they have a snippet of humanity, they'll try and hide it. I recommend you to watch Inglourious Basterds (WARNING: IT'S A QUENTIN TARANTINO MOVIE), especially the cinema burning. We have to keep our heads; we can't lower ourselves to their levels. It's a big circle of hate begets hate, and the Jews were the ones to suffer that time.

    Rancor-free Nick

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  32. I think the propaganda in Theresienstadt is what really hit me. I think it is crazy that the Nazis got away with something so big. The Red Cross of all organizations came and didn’t see any problems. The Nazis set up the entire camp just to fool the Red Cross. The ghetto was beautified. Gardens were planted, houses painted, barracks renovated, and playgrounds created. The Nazis staged events for the visiting dignitaries. They even made Kurt Gerron, a filmmaker, direct a Nazi propaganda film about the ghetto. I was befuddled by this. I also found it interesting that the Jews had a hidden synagogue. But it says in the article that the SS weren’t worried about it. So they knew about it and didn’t do anything?

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  33. The lengths the Nazis went to in order to deceive the public is astounding, and the fact that so few people bothered to question the deception is even more so. The fact that there were so many artists, writers, professors, and musicians in this “settlement” was surprising, especially since art and education were so often used as a form of Jewish resistance. It seems that Theresienstadt was no exception to this, but the Nazis were actually able to twist this defiance around and use it to their advantage in propaganda like the video for the Red Cross. They wanted to use the Jewish people’s talent to prove that Theresienstadt was actually a good place for them to “retire.” (...Ironically, “retire” is sometimes used now as a euphemism for death.) The other thing about the video that struck me was that there were so many close-up shots of the “prisoner’s” faces where the viewer can clearly see the physical toll the Nazis’ torture has taken on them. Their eyes are all dead-looking and sunken, and even the young people have wrinkles on their faces. And no one bothered to see through this propaganda!

    -Rachel Kraiss

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  34. It's almost startling how self-aware the Nazis were. Almost. The men who were the catalysts for all these heinous crimes were likely the ones who knew best how awful it was. Sadly enough, they had hatred in their hearts and blood on their mind. The fact that they knew that they had to freshen up for the Red Cross throws out a red flag, especially when you consider the fact that within the confines of Germany, the Final Solution was considered a holy endeavor. That's - buzzword incoming - ironic. I'm learning the curriculum!

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  35. I don't understand why people did not question places like this more. Some people were brainwashed to believe that it was all for a good cause, but what about the people who actually understood that the Nazis were evil, why didn't they do more? And what about the Red Cross? Sure, they saw the video, but wouldn't they have known about other concentration camps and ways the Jews were being tortured? I just do not understand why they did not get involved and do more research into a truly serious case. If some crazy dictator today suddenly decided to kill everybody (and this is just an example) who was Christian, I would sure hope that our government and other countries (if it got out of hand) would do something to stop this dictator and his followers. So, why did the Red Cross and other organizations and countries not take action? It infuriates me that no one did anything to stop this torture and killing.

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  36. It is absolutely unbelievable to me how horrible these people were! The lengths that they went to in order to hide what was actually happening is INSANE!! If they would have put even 1/10 of the energy into helping people, that they used to harm people, the world would have been so much better! One part that makes me upset is that so many people were oblivious to what was going on. Even the Red Cross inspected this place and gave the ok. This means that they didn't inspect it hard enough, in my opinion. The fact that over 10,000 children went into this place and only 240 survived, is beyond comprehension.

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  37. Deception is all around us. From lying to our parents, to cheating on a homework assignment. This is on a different level however. They deceived the entire red cross, and probably most Germans in the surrounding area. The extreme lengths that they went to to make this seem like a nice place, just so they could kill Jews, is astounding.

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  38. It's crazy how the Nazis would describe the ghettos and concentration camps as a "spa town." First of all, why would someone even believe that? It is extremely sad that so many children were killed in this "spa town." It makes me think, did they not want anyone to see because they knew that some people would oppose of what was happening? These people need some better goals. I loved to find out that the Jews, though they were thinking that they were going to be killed, they continued to have spirit. Some of those pictures were eye opening to the conditions.

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  39. It's crazy how had they tried to replicate a normal life for the time The Red Cross was there and then they just went back to being cruel. I want to know what the inmates were told because it must have been a shock for them when they were allowed to hold soccer matches, and the working conditions were better as seen in the video. If that were me, I would be very skeptical as to why they were doing this. They put so much effort into faking it that it makes you wonder if these people knew what they were doing was wrong because if they truly believed that what they were doing was right then why would they have made something they thought was right look so much better and livable. I can't even begin to fathom what these people went through.

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  40. It’s tragically ironic that the place they used to prove that they treated the Jews humanely had such a low survival rate. I was shocked that the children still attended school even though they were forbidden. Directly disobeying Nazi orders is one of the highest forms of rebellion, and they did so to educate themselves! The Nazis didn’t want an educated populace much less an educated Jewish populace. What a slap in the face to the Nazis. The camp culture was similar; the Nazis couldn’t destroy Jewish culture no matter how many laws they passed. I watched the video (well, I skipped through it), and I was surprised at how blatant it was. They made it seem almost like a resort or something. If the Jews were treated so well, why put them in camps at all? It seemed suspicious to me. The statue in the 12th picture was really weird. Was that there when the Red Cross came? A statue of malnourished people comforting each other in a “Jewish settlement” would be an immediate red flag for me, at any rate.

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  41. The amount of deceit is ironic because the Nazis know that they need to hide to gain the approval of the only people who cared, the Red Cross. If it was such an “amazing” place, why did they need huge wall to hide what they were doing? Why was it a strict grid of generic buildings, not even buildings, shelters? The Red Cross should have known better not to trust the Nazis when they knew what else they were doing.

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  42. That video was such pure bullshit. Honestly, what the heck. It's insane to know how they were actually treated and then see that video of how Germans knew they should be treated. If they have to go to such lengths to not get in trouble for what they're doing, they probably should have figured out why. The pictures of things like the hospital is disgusting. It's horrible to think about the place they lived in. The fact the sinks were fake is so absurd. Every time I see more things like this, I just get more frustrated and indignant. I can't ever stop thinking how crazy it is that human beings were treated this way by other human beings.

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  43. It amazes me how $10,500 children “passed through” this camp, and out of those, only 242 survived!! I can’t believe how the Germans, even when LOSING the war, still attempted to expunge all of the Jews! The stubbornness of the Nazis is unreal! I was confused when you mentioned how this camp was more “cultured” than the other camps and how they made art and had concerts… was this just for show, or was it allowed on a daily basis? Also, I find it uncanny how the Nazis let the Jews have their own synagogue. However, I admire how the Jews remained hopeful in their hidden messages written in Hebrew! Even though they were truculently tortured, they still had hope and faith to help them endure the camp!
    - Madison Bain

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  44. The amount of deception that the Nazis went through to keep their "final solution" a secret is unbelievable. Not only did they build walls tall enough so that no one could see inside, but they killed CHILDREN. 10,500 children were "brought through" the camp. BROUGHT THROUGH!? 10,500 children "brought through" the camp and only 242 survived the "old German Jews' retirement home." There are few things on this earth that make me want to vomit, but this is one of them. I will never know what it felt like for those children to die.. but I wish the suffering on those children to fall back onto those who brought it upon them.

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  45. It makes me extremely angry how the Red Cross finally came, but the Nazis hoaxed the whole thing. If I were a prisoner in the camp I would be so happy if they finally came. Then all my hopes would be crushed. The Nazis put fake things in! They could of at least made the fake sinks real. How could the Red Cross not catch the lie? I think it's ironic that the camp was known as a "retirement home" for the old Jews while they actually tortured and stoned the Jews. It was also clever of the Nazis to have this camp as a propaganda tool for the Germans to think this was a "spa town."

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  46. Are you kidding me?! The Red Cross went out there just to be tricked?! It seems as if they didn't event inspect the area. Did they not test to see if the sinks actually worked? The poor prisoners thought they were going to be saved, yet nothing changed. Crematories to fit 200 people a day. WOW! How sickening. Out of 10,500 only 242 survived?! Wow they must have been STRONG kids! I can’t imagine going through such a thing.
    Chrysoula Xyrafakis

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  47. One of the words that I would use to describe the entirety of the Holocaust would be deception. It seems like Hitler and the Nazis were able to deceive anyone that they came across. I can't believe that the ghetto was called a "spa" and that by beautifying it the Nazis were able to fool the Red Cross workers that came to examine it. I simply do not understand how the Red Cross didn't realize that it was all a trick, a hoax. I mean, fake sinks? Really? I can't imagine how the Jews must have felt once all of the nice and new things were taken away when the Red Cross left. I am sickened by the fact that only 242 of the 10,500 children who entered made it out alive. I once again am appalled by the atrocities that the Nazis committed.

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  48. The euphemisms in the holocaust that the Nazis used drive me insane. Using the term "spa town" to describe this place is just wrong. They were soon to be sent to a concentration camp and were still treated in torturous conditions, yet the Nazis still had the nerve to make it seem as if it were some beautiful, great place. Another thing that made me mad was when a film director was hired to make a propaganda film about the camp to make it seem like a good place. If they had to make a video deceiving the public about what went on in the camps, it is obvious that the Nazis who claim to not know what they were doing was wrong are lying. However, I am inspired by the fact that the Jewish people stayed so positive and resisted.
    -Lucy Georgius

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  49. Seeing how the Nazis presented themselves as "Kind" and allowing Red Cross to see that the Jews had a "Joyful" life is absurd. The Jews were given a few days where given a decent life, and then all that was taken away when the Red Cross left. They went to so many extra lengths to trick people into thinking they were giving the Jews nice lives, and even the video! All I could think is why can't they actually treat them this way. and I know the Nazis had their reasons, but it still makes me mad. The kids who went through there and the kids that survived. 10,500-242!! I can't imagine how that looked, and how they and their parents felt knowing this was the end. It's truly shocking they played it off to everyone else that was around the ghetto that it was a "Spa town" and allowed for "relaxing" retirement, and they built the walls higher so they couldn't see anything!! I wish they would've found out, or the Red Cross would see past their fake sinks and their "nice place for Jews' and get them in trouble for treating the Jews so poorly. But if I were them it would be hard to believe that anyone would treat another human being like they did.
    Lily Jones

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  50. This little scenario that the Nazis created is incredible and horrific at the same time. Its incredible because they made such an awful place look so amazing, which also explains why it is so horrific. I bet that if the red cross saw it (somehow) after the war, they were horrified, confused and devastated for not noticing it before. I would be too though. This is awful! And imagine being one of the few children that survived that. That would be horrible. Could they ever again sleep after going through that? It must've been scary even surviving afterwards. I feel bad about it and am disgusted by the Nazis even more than before, if that is even possible.

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  51. I was surprised that the Nazi’s were so confident that they would pass off their “settlement” as an actual home for people that they showed it to the Red Cross and they found nothing! How can the Nazis transform a horrible deadly place into something so believable that no one on the outside knows the true meaning of the settlement. The Nazis are actually stunningly smart; only if their ideas went to good instead of evil then maybe we would be in a better place now.

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  52. Okay so you already have ghettos, and you already have concentration camps,in which the Jews suffer like nobody’s business and die pretty much everyday, so here's an idea: LET’S ADD MORE TO THAT. The least they could do is not describe it as somewhere so peaceful and give the truth behind it. The people already know about the concentration camps and the ghettos, so why just lie to them if your main goal is just to annihilate the Jews. I was left speechless when I saw how only 242 CHILDREN out of 10,500 people survive. That's just...wow. I didn't know that Therisendaiat could be so cultured and “humanized”. It took me by surprise based off of how cruel everything else was. Of course just bunch of fakers..

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  53. if your going to put so much thought, care, and effort into fouling the red cross by building fake sinks, you might as well make the sinks real. If your going through all that trouble, you might as well get something out of it. When the jewish wrote the secret messages I thought that was very clever. Most of them wrote "you" as "You" giving the name a personal value and directing it to cirtain people. The quote, "But despite all this, we have not forgotten Your Name. We beg You not to forget us," is a very powerful saying and brought me to tears.

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  54. It's sad to say that I'm not very shocked that the Nazis created this settlement. it was hard to see the Jews trying to fake a smile in the video when thinking that their life was on the line. I hate how everyone else was so blind. The hidden messages were so powerful; I can't imagine being in their shoes while just feeling dehumanized and all alone in the world. With each entry I read, my hatred just grows more and more for the Nazis.

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  55. I can’t believe they disguised it as a spa town. Why in the world would they say “Here is where you will retire in safety?” There is nothing safe about killing elderly Jews. Aren’t elderly people supposed to be fragile and respected? When you talk about the children being stoned, it reminded me of The Lottery. Both of them acted like it was just something you see everyday, and it’s not. It is so crazy that even though Germany was losing the war, they only wanted to do one thing. It was as if they didn’t care. Why did killing the Jews matter more than keeping their country’s debt in control?

    -Makiah

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  56. I am amazed at the fact that they fooled the Red Cross into thinking that life in the camps was good and safe. It doesn't surprise me that they went to such lengths to conceal their killing machine. The video is shocking because they look healthy, happy, and normal, but behind closed doors, they were tortured. I thin the quotes from the secret synagogue are so powerful and significant. The fact that they could go through such hell and ask people to turn away from hate. I envy those people's strength in their higher power because I don't think I could be as emotionally strong.

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  57. Coming into your class, I never knew as much as I know now. I had no idea there were places like this. It is shocking to see the number of children who died here. One thing I noticed is how much resistance there was in this camp. Although it was mostly spiritual resistance, it is interesting to see how to Jews fought back so they could live a normal life. It was shocking to see how the Nazis created a fake platform to trick the Red Cross. Its ironic to think that they made the camp so nice and pretty, yet it was actually a camp of death and horror. Also, I've never heard of the stonings. I thought things like that were old rituals or sacrifices like in The Lottery.

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  58. How did they create such real looking sinks to fool the red cross? It the entire place looked calm and peaceful but to thinks it had such a dark secret. It is also interesting that the Jewish people left messages for other. But did they really allow them to do art and have children attend school.

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  59. Something that annoyed me which I read in this blog was how the Nazis put up high walls to hide the fact that they were torturing the Jews. If they put up high walls to hide what they were doing then does that mean they knew was wrong? I am totally convinced that he's not he's had no heart. They were so evil that they had no emotion when killing over 10,000 kids. It made me a tiny bit happy reading how the Jews still tried to live a normal life by attending school and entertaining themselves in a semi-normal way. When the Red Cross came to check out everything did the Jews no speak out when they Red Cross was walking around? How could they have not known that these people living in this gated ghetto was not suffering? I just have so many questions and I don't understand about what was going through those people's heads.

    ~Morgan Routh

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  60. The amount of deception and lies that the Nazis used is unreal to me. It's so twisted and malicious. The fact that they would make the camp seem like it was a "nice" place is so vile to me. The trickery and falsities are so wrong. I was taken aback by the amount of children who perished here. Just seeing the number who survived versus the number who were taken in is saddening. Thinking about the survivors is upsetting because these children were robbed of their innocence and forced to learn how to survive inhumane and scarring conditions. Lastly, I am bothered by the fact that they put up high walls so no one could see Jewish people perish. Once again, trickery and deception were used by the Nazis. Why does this camp try and keep its actions silent, while other camps tried to make it very evident that they were killing people? What is the difference? Why were some people made to be scared by the concentration camp violence and others made to be blind of any and all violence and murder? How did the Nazis decide?

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  61. The Germans mastered the art of deception. The created a Jewish “settlement” (an actual terrible camp) called Theresienstadt. Only 2% of the children in this settlement survived. They spent a lot of resources (time and money) making the place look realistic, with fake sinks in order to convince the Red Cross that this was a clean and managed place. The Nazis ability to deceive people on such a large scale is one of the many things that scares me. -William Smith

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  62. After previously reading the Wannsee Conference post, this makes me even angrier. The Nazis had decided that they could not afford to feel these thousands of people, so they would gas them instead. How is it that they could not afford to feed at least some of these people, but they could afford the time and money to build fake sinks to please the Red Cross? To me, this makes this whole blog entry feel even more outraging. The seemingly pleasant appearance of the exterior must have allowed for a lot more Holocaust deniers. These people could allow themselves to be convinced that the Jews were living easy lives in these camps.

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  63. It's unbelievable how the Nazi's turned deception into an art. I watched the video and you know there was a Nazi standing behind the camera with a gun pointed at them just waiting for them to mess up. They probably even killed just for fun. They didn't have the money to feed them all but they had the money to build a massive crematorium and hopes to build a gas chamber? The beliefs of the Nazi's appall me and to think millions of people living in Germany at that time were so entranced by the great Hitler they did nothing about the massive death camps built by the great Hitler. Killing anyone is too far, but children? Children? That's a low for anyone and they killed anyone they didn't care.

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  64. I can't believe the Nazis went to the extent of fake sinks to fool the Red Cross. Their use of euphemisms is truly mind boggling. The Nazis perceived themselves as kindhearted individuals, when in reality they were torturing innocent people. They called a concentration camp a "spa town"; they deterred the rumors away by making strives to conceal the plan. I don't understand why they tried to hide it in the first place; it was inevitable that people would find out. They already had multiple concentration camps established at the time. How could people be so guileless to the fact? The more we learn about the holocaust the more i'm blown away by these outrageous acts of cruelty.

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  65. This makes me sick. The idea that the red cross WENT IN THERE and the Nazis put on such a performance that they then left and declared that everything was fine is horrifying. They were willing to go to such lengths to make sure the prisoners remained where they were. It is also absolutely horrifying how few children made it out of there. They were KIDS. The writing on the Synagogue wall is also incredibly disheartening. They had lost all hope, and had taken to carving their begging to God into the walls of their temple. That is incredibly sad.

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  66. As I was reading this, I wondered why the government had to give an "Okay." for the ghetto to be there. I thought the government was responsible for the ghettos. Was the government giving it the "Okay." also just for show so they could fool everyone else? I was also saddened by the messages on the wall. One message stood out to me the most and that was the one that said, "We beg You, turn your back from Your anger and have mercy on the treasured nation that You have chosen." It was very saddening to see that the Jews thought that God was allowing this to happen to them because he was angry; in reality, it was humans using their free will to ignore God's voice telling them to stop.
    -Alexis Reid

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  67. The fact that the Nazis hid their act of terror from the Red Cross shows how savage they were. It shows us how they knew what they were doing. I’ve been taught in other history classes that part of the Nazis’s logic for killing was because they didn’t look at Jews as people which meant it was ok to kill them. If they truly felt that killing Jews was morally correct why would they try to hide it. Why wouldn’t they embrace it and let the world know about it. This shows that the killings were just a cover up for what was to come in the war and not because of what they believed but instead what they needed.

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  68. I can't believe calling the facility a "spa town" worked. There's no way that people were so oblivious that they believed the German's lies. Not just that, but organizations like the Red Cross didn't see through the deception? Surely someone involved looked around and felt something was off? The fake sinks are especially surprising. They went to so much effort just to protect themselves from people finding out the truth.

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  69. I was shocked that this place was actually real! They killed so many people there. It makes me sad to hear about the children who were killed there. They were all so innocent. I was surprised to hear that this place was also very developed. It is nice that the Jews were able to still paint, draw, write, sing, etc. Those artworks created by them are important because they help show us what is was like in the camps. It is so wrong that the camp leaders pretended that everything was fine when the Red Cross came by. They even had fake sinks! I can't believe that were so evil. I like how the Jews left messages behind on the walls and places because it helps us learn how awful times were and help get them justice. The image of the statue is heartbreaking because the Jews didn't deserve to be starved and die. It makes me sad that there are evil people who would do these torture acts without realizing how immoral it was. These German officers who enforced these acts should all be convicted and jailed.

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  71. The fact that the Nazis cared more about killing all of the Jews than their own life is sickening. It shows their true colors. It shows that they are monsters and know completely what they were doing and its consequences. The fact that they tried to hide their cruelty to the prisoners and glorify the place for the Red Cross shows that they know they were doing something wrong and that they could get in huge trouble for it. The prisoners writing God on the synagogue and saying that they have not forgotten him means that they have not given up and have not forgotten him.

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  72. I had no clue that there was a place like this. It makes me sad about how many people died there, especially kids. It is good that they still had music and school, but nothing there was really human. It is awful that they pretended everything was fine when the Red Cross came. Even the faking sinks, that's insane! The picture of the "hospital" is awful. I'm sure it was very dirty, and all they had were metal beds. There is no way anybody got better there. Also the fact that they "beautified" the ghetto was crazy. There is no way a place like that can even look pretty. It will never be pretty.

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  73. A fake spa made to be another place fro the elderly Jewish citizens to die in. Oh how a horrid place and time it was. While reading this I'm imagining my grandmother in there, I really don't believe she would make it, but she would have fallen for their trick. Upon reading the part about the children and how many were killed I could not. I have literal ears in my eyes. I have a big family and for all my cousins to be in thee would break my heart. Especially for you. Most likely having been separated from your children and 10,500 killed. Must be heart breaking. Although, the fact that some tried to write hidden messages defying the Nazis does make me happy that they did something that was like a f you to the face. Faking sinks just does not make sense. they were treated as animals for god sake! and the hospital is horrifying for the nurses and more importantly the patients to be in beds that can't keep them up. We shall never forget.

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  74. I think it is strange that the Nazis glorified one camp and praised themselves on the horrific events that took place in others. I think that I would have had a very hard time keeping as positive a mindset as the "prisoners" in the camps, the drawings and music as well as maintaining hope in their religion. I think it shows the unbelievable strength these men, women, and children had. I do find it absolutely sickening to read about the glorification of the ghetto. It is beyond me how people were able to believe this when there were high walls to keep their view out of the camp. The fake sinks really make me question how detailed the red cross was being as well. Did the Nazis have water that ran to them? I find it to be shocking that they were able to pull a scheme like this off.
    Liz Montgomery

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  75. I am totally shocked that the Nazis went to such great lengths to conceal the truth about what they were doing. It's also shocking that the Nazis would continue to kill off the Jews even after they were losing the war. The fact that they did everything in their power to hide what they were doing from the rest of the world is just crazy. Why would they find it necessary to have fake sinks? What's even the purpose of that??? They did so much to hide what they were doing but they still did it and that is so confusing for me. I just don't understand how these people could do these things to the Jews. It makes me so sad to read about what the Jews had to go through. I can't even imagine what they had to go through. It's just so crazy that this happened and I just don't see why the Nazis felt that they had to do this. It's absolutely baffling. Completely and totally baffling.
    Rose Dorofi

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  76. Xan Brien
    It's hard to believe that this place wasn't called a concentration camp. What really got to me was how many kids that the Nazis killed here. Over 10000! Its terrible how the Nazis faked the Red Cross test by adding fake sinks and playground to make life in the "camp" look better. And then they reverted it as soon as the Red Cross left. Its good to see that there were hidden synagogues in this place. And people wrote messages on the walls to God. It shocked me that people still had so much faith in such a time of hell.

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  77. I am in complete shock to see how the Nazis took extreme measures to ensure the truth was not exposed. It is somewhat ensuring to see that the Danish Government had "cared" about Jews. That is rare to see a Government take some type of responsibility to see how Jews were treated. Ultimately, the Nazis prevailed in tricking the Red Cross. It is also shocking to see how evil the Nazis are with there manipulation. Innocent elderly Jewish Germans are being tricked into thinking that they are going to retire in a peaceful "spa town". It is just sad to see how twisted the Nazi mentality is.

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  78. There are so many euphemisms, and I really do wonder if anyone believed any of them. Then, some Nazis were thinking outside the box in order to kill the “impure” people. Not only did they have the camps and ghettos, but they also had a “settlement”. There’s so much information about this time period that something new can always be learned about it. I’m happy you really cover the things no one else talks about. It makes this event in history so much more complex. I’m glad the Danish government gave the Jews some concern, but it makes me mad how the Nazis covered up the truth. It seems very common to cover up the truth. As for the film, it’s so unsettling knowing that it’s fake, and the people have likely seen horrific things. Everything seems so normal, peaceful even!

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  79. I can't believe they said this “settlement” was considered to be beautiful. By covering this place up with flowers ,gardens,and playgrounds. They even had the audacity to install fake sinks was a cover up this deceive the Red Cross. The Red Cross didn't know the real horror that was going on inside of this “settlement.” In the video it shows also how fake they made this ghetto to be, making it look like an enjoyable place when it really it”s actually hell. This just go to show that the Nazis really hated the Jews, with a passion. I mean, the nazis were scared to get diseases from the Jewish people. And the Nazis even killed the children. Like how “ 10,500 children passed through this camp, and only 242 survived,” really shocks me.

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  80. I think the pictures and the video were very eerie. The way the horrors of this place were hidden is disturbing to say the least. The fact that the Red Cross came to check, and even they were fooled, scares me. You never know what's going on somewhere, and that's scary. You do have to wonder, how could they not have known? There had to be some part of someone that wasn't fooled. Were they pressured in silence? Or did they not want to let it be true, even in their own mind? It starts a conversation about how easily humans can be fooled.

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  81. The deceitfulness of calling this place a spa and a quiet retirement place really disgusts me. I cannot imagine the mounds of dead children along the back of the camp. Once you enter it seems you do not come out which is frightening to say the least. If the Nazis took so much time to set up a fake camp for the red cross then why would they not let the people living in the camp use these items. I could not find it in my heart to forgive someone that would be so despicable to me. Also all of these camps being runs for 5-7 years shows that know one bothered to send out for help allowing the Nazis to continue the brutal acts of violence. I like that people inside the camp tried to keep a normal life once inside the camp. It shocks me that the red cross didn't see through the BS. So much could have been done if only someone helped.
    -Brady

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  82. The fact that such a place like this existed is so scary to think about. The minute the Red Cross comes, they SS clean up the place a bit, make it look inviting, and put on a show. Then the minute they leave, it is back to a living hell for the Jews. It’s almost as if they were just treating the Jews like puppets. Anything the SS said, they Jews would obey because if they did not, then they would be murdered. Imagine being threatened to die if you disobey someone. The fear that the Jews must have lived in is unfathomable to me.

    -Sophia R

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  83. I hate how dedicated the Nazis were to their terrible cause. They went through the trouble to deceive the Red Cross, just to fulfil their master plan to eradicate the Jews. As soon as the Red Cross arrives to investigate this huge camp, the SS puts in the effort to renovate the camp so it actually looks habitable, but as soon as they leave, back to a living hell for the prisoners. I also realized how strong the Jewish people who lived in these camps were. They created music and art, they built a synagog for the people to worship, they even let the small children go to school, so they could have some normalcy to their terrible lives in these places of evil.

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  84. I can’t believe that they were hiding all that they did to the Jews from the citizens. They lied to them by not telling them what really happened on the other side of the walls. The worst part for me was when I read how many kids were stoned and killed. They built the place for those who were impure, and they made the Jews look as if they were impure. Correction: they made them seem as if they were animals. I was a bit angry when you wrote “ tried to maintain a life of normalcy.” (not angry at you but angry at the fact that none of this is normal!). This isn’t normal! I look at myself and having a normal life and I look at those kids going to school with the threat that at any second, you could die.

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  85. Its awful how the Nazis knew that they were defeated but were still committed to murdering innocent people. Its sickening how the Nazis actually built fake things to deceive others instead of using that time and energy to actually build something that works for the Jews. If you are going to waste time doing that, you may as well just build an actual sink or other things. I'm glad that the Jews kept their faith despite the tragedies that they were going through. That shows how strong faith can be in these types of situations. It must have been awful to see these nice things around you but knowing that you will go through something completely different.

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  86. One thing about the holocaust i will never understand is why the Nazis continued their goal of killing all the Jews, even after they started losing the war. They chose to use their resources to kill their scapegoat, rather than defending themselves in their final days. This makes no sense to me. Why would the Nazis rather kill another human being than save themselves from their impending doom? Maybe their brainwashing from their youths had changed their mentality of self preservation and the importance of a human life, whether they’re different than you or not. They went far enough as to falsely make the camp look humane for the red cross which is disgusting. They deceived anyone and everyone they wanted to without worrying about the consequences because they felt invincible.
    -Nick Shaw

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  87. Calling this place a “spa” is very ridiculous. I have no idea how people can be so cruel and unusual. Using the “spa” as a “retirement home” is sickening to me. It is disturbing to me knowing that there are loads of human bodies piled up. The fact that the red cross came and found nothing is kind of concerning. Did they know but were frightened to say anything or were they truely clueless? The Nazis are not humane for saying that the “spa” was peaceful because they should be the ones to know about the horrors that lies within. They should understand that what they are doing is not in any way humane.

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  88. I am completely shocked and disgusted that out of 10,500 children that passed through this camp, and only 242 survived. I was also shocked when I read that they were planning to build gas chambers even though they were losing the war. They should have been focusing on the war and not worrying about what Jews to kill next. I can’t get over how they all just had one goal and it was to eliminate all Jewish people, and anyone else who was considered "unpure." It was very interesting to hear how they made the ghettos so beautified, and even made gardens, painted the houses, created playgrounds, and even staged social events, but it was all just a hoax. How could they be so cruel? I just don’t understand. This was the first time that I heard about how a government actually cared about what happened to the Jews. Looking at the pictures the conditions of where the Jews lived look so unpleasant. I would certainly not want to live there.
    -Ashley LeBlanc

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  89. Im absolutely flabbergasted that when the Red Cross came the Nazis cleaned up and called this place a spa. A SPA?! This just is so sad that the Red Cross couldn't see through the veil of lies and try to help all of these people. I mean couldn't they smell the rotting corpses or the burning flesh? This absolutely amazes me how ignorant people can be to things like this. And the fact that the Nazis had full commitment to just killing millions makes you truly wonder what the underlying motive for people doing this was.
    - Noah Zeck

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  90. I can not believe the amount of children that went into the camp and how little came up. They are children and don’t deserve anything near that extent. My childhood was full of peace within my family, and these kids were taken from their family and most likely killed. The part when the Red Cross came in, and the Nazis called it a spa disgusted me. How could you ever call a place like that a spa. The fact that they thought this was okay is so amazing to me. I would not be able to live my life after calling a concentration camp a spa and go on with killing people. This is incredible to me and makes me feel even worse for the Jews.

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  91. What really struck me about this entry is how the Red Cross yet found it as a suitable place because of the deception from the Nazis. They even went to the extent of forcing a Jew to make a film so that everyone would see how “humane” this camp was after their renovations. Learning that 10,500 Jews were sent here and only a little over 200 is also very devastating but having learned about the Nazis now i’m not very astonished. The amount of lives they are able to take without any hesitation is a scary thing and I hope that no one ever has to live in a world where this much deceit and evil takes place.

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  92. For some reason I always start these off with questions. Nobody knew? Rather, people knew and didn’t say anything? How on earth do people just get a picture in their head that, “hey he’s Jewish they must be impure.” Whether I was taught by someone bias or not I have learn to love everyone and everything, at least until they harm me in any way. There is no way that people’s hearts were so cold that they just simply let children, of all people, get killed. Red cross gave the okay?!? I understand they disguised the place, but not one artist or inhabitant could speak up?

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  93. I can’t believe that they called this place a spa. It shows they were bad by hiding their bad acts away from the red cross. If the Nazis thought that killing the Jews was right, then they wouldn’t try to hide it away from the red cross. How did the red cross not find anything wrong? They should’ve smelled the corpses of the innocent Jews. And don’t forget about all the kids that were in the camp. Most of them didn’t even make it out alive. I Can't believe that all this happened and i hope the world is humane enough to not repeat history.
    -Wilson Hawes

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  94. I don't understand how gullible the red cross could be to let the camels continue because you would be able to clearly tell if someone is being held against their will. Crazy to think that the Nazis put in fact sinks just to fool the red cross and had ovens just to burn the jews’ clothes for fear of disease. The Nazis were terrible people but when it came to technology the were ahead of the curve and to think that the Jews would give them a sickness is dumbfounding to me. Hard to believe that they got away with covering up such a major and obvious atrocity.

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  95. I don't understand how they continued to lie and feel that their decisions were moral. If they felt the need to lie then doesn't that mean that they knew what they were doing was wrong? The hidden messages were a crazy sign that there had to have been something going on. Another crazy thing is the simplicity of just wanting to do whatever they wanted because of a stereotype. Their idea of impurity based off of someone's own beliefs is not only childish but it was so disrespectful. It got so out of hand that they began to just easily kill children as well.

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  96. This article was depressing to read knowing that Red Cross an organization whose main goals focus on the good of others, knew about the camps first hand. The organization even visited the concentration camp and saw the dirty conditions, the machines to delouse clothes, the poorly constructed wooden beds and the obviously unused sinks. How much of a horrible person do you have to be to know what your doing is wrong, and even do as far to cover it up by wasting money to make fake sinks. I hate to think that this event is so youthful, how something this degrading happened in the last century.

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  97. The Nazis' ability to create euphemisms was astonishing. It gives the words “retire” and “settlement” completely new belligerent meanings. I can’t believe that the Nazis had the audacity to call a death camp a safe place to “retire.” It was anything but safe, and I wondered what the Red Cross and Danish government really thought when it came to them visiting the death camps. Did they really expect to see what actually happened day to day? I am so disappointed that humanity would ever let such malevolent and spiteful people into power. We must never forget what happened and never let history repeat itself.

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  98. Wow. Well, I apologize if it seems like I’m encouraging the Nazis, which is honestly what I’m not trying to do, but I have to admit with all honesty that the Nazis were undeniably crafty and adroitly deceitful. For the Nazis to be able to make even the Jews living in Theresienstadt think that everything was okay and everything was just fine, either the Jews that were tricked were extremely ignorant or the Nazis were extremely convincing and persuasive. The thing that really got to me is that the people from the Red Cross weren’t able to see through the Nazis’ disguise and realize the terrible things they were actually doing to the Jews.

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  99. At first, I read that Theresienstadt was a “spa” and this made me feel that the older Jewish people were safe and everything was fine for the “settlement.” Then I read about the death rates and how the German people created a “crematorium.” It is very sad that only 247 children survived through this atrocity. I did find all the culture in the “settlement” extremely interesting; several artists stayed at the camp but it seems sad to acknowledge that the talent went to waste along with the others who stayed in the settlement. I found the picture of the “washing machine” disturbing. I can visualize the Nazis taking the clothes and reusing them for the next set of victims.

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  100. The lying and crazy amount of deception that the Nazis presented to others is astonishing. I’m not even sure that is the right word to use because it tends to have more of a positive connotation, but I’m not sure of what other word to use. They went through great lengths to keep their plans secret, and while it absolutely hurts me to say it, I can't help but think they were kind of smart. I mean they installed FAKE SINKS just to fool the red cross… I probably wouldn't have thought of that. However, I am still haunted by them making playgrounds for children in an “old German Jew camp.” Another note-worth thing, is that video! It’s bad enough that the filmmaker was forced to make this video and then ended up dead, but to flat out lie about everything that goes on in the ghetto… I really just have no words. That video made it seem like everybody there was enjoying themselves, people were even SMILING?!?!? I am at a complete loss of words. I truly do not know what to say anymore other then wow.

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  101. When I first read this I just skimmed the first part of paragraph one and thought it was an actual spa for them to retire too but then when I came to my realization that it wasn’t I got horrified by what they were doing to the children and how they would show them of like animals through the wire. I was a little surprised when I found out that the Nazis didn’t care what the jews did, but right after I read that I read that they only cared about if their secret about the camp had gotten out and then I wasn’t that all surprised. It just gets more and more clear throughout each blog post that the Nazis cared very little about the jews; they just wanted to see them die.-Riley Dilsworth

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  103. I was baffled at the fact that these camps were built on top of a peaceful jewish cemetery. When I take a first glimpse at someone, no matter what the race, I always give them a chance to prove that ethnicity, religion, or culture doesn’t define someone's personality. I am honestly clueless about how I would’ve reacted to these cruel actions taking place if I were alive and Jewish at the time. When I was informed that Amon Goeth would never start his breakfast without shooting at least one person my stomach twisted. As a result Amon Goeth Commanding the camp was, an SS commandant from Vienna who was sadistic in his treatment and killing of prisoners. It made chills rise and brought out disgust out of my as It says that. - Moose M. III

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  104. Your Theresienstadt blog was not what I was expecting. Yet, still not surprising; the German in all their glory and love of their culture and race would seek to preserve what the Jews had to offer, from a cultural standpoint. The audacity of having a mock prison, of sorts, full of cultured life designed for the culturally elite, as part of their propaganda. Not to mention an imprisoned filmer maker to document their hierocracy to the hilt, and then later to have him executed in Auschwitz is the essential essence of the Nazi soul. This country has a touch of Theresienstadt in our antisemitic roots. America was seen by the Jews as the ideal route for escaping post-war Europe, attempting to reclaim their lives after liberation, many chose to immigrate to our country, and American culture, American ways of life has been enhanced as a result, in so many “discreetly Jewish” ways.
    -Russ

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  105. They had the nerve to put SO much effort into cultivating the appearance that everything was okay, but they couldn’t find it within themselves to just let things really be okay! They treated the Jews like dolls, dressing them up, making them smile, and putting a veil over the true horror that they had to endure everyday. Even as they drew closer and closer to losing the war, the Nazis continued to uphold their horrifying goal of wiping out any “unpure” citizens, which really puts their values into perspective. And the kids...10,000 went in, and so few came out alive. They were children! Their jobs should have been playing outside, learning about the world, and enjoying their childhood. Instead, they were force-fed a single task: survive or die.

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  106. After reading this and watching the staged documentary it just baffles me how the Nazis treated the Jews so harshly and were able to get away with picturing a normal and happy place when in reality they were dehumanizing these people. How did they get away with this? Another thing I noticed within the documentary is how the prisoners looked so healthy and clean. The men looked strong and the women were well made with there hair and clothing presented nicely. These people were starved, dirty and beaten. It is so well staged I seriously think they hired actors to portray the actual prisoners.

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  107. The thing that struck me most is how strong the Jewish people’s faith was, even through such awful times. They were being tortured and treated in the most cruel, inhumane ways, yet their faith was still there. You showed how they made a small hidden synagogue. I found that to be so interesting. It also amazed me how they somehow managed to cover up all the terrible crimes against humanity being committed at Thersianstadt. How did they disguise the peoples frail, starving bodies? It is also just so scary and sickening.

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  108. I am shocked by the deception the Nazis used when trying to get people into the Theresienstadt. I wonder how long it took for the victims to realize that this was not a “spa town”, but a concentration camp that would lead them to their demise. One thing that I do not understand is why they were planning to build gas chambers even though they were losing the war. I am thinking that one of their reasons for doing this was that they thought Germany would pull through and win the war. I also think that they were so desperate in trying to kill the Jewish population that they were trying to build the gas chambers before they lost the war so they could kill as many Jewish people as they could. Another thing that I was surprised by was how they were able to trick the International Red Cross into believing that Theresienstadt was “okay.” I feel that the people of the Red Cross should have been able to see the condition of the Jews in the camp. You would think that would be a hard thing to disguise, but maybe not. Lastly, I really loved the picture you included that depicted the Jewish children’s art. I know that these children really went through Hell and back, but I would hope that being able to create art would allow them an escape from tortures that would go on in the concentration camp.
    Halsey Patrick

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  109. I am disgusted by how much work was put into making this place seem beautiful especially when it was home to such awful things. The made this place into a series of lies and deceptions to cover up the awful deaths occurring behind closed doors, and it bewilders and me and makes me even more disgusted. I also can’t believe the things they did to the children! There only “crime” was existing, and for some reason, the Nazi’s seemed to think it was ok to slaughter them like animals. It’s sickening. -Madison Lastoria

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  110. For me, this is the worst of the camps. Auschwitz is a household name because of its blatant brutality, but Theresienstadt's deception is even more jarring to me. So many great minds and potential was kept in one place. As an artist, I hated, more than anything, to see people's personal emotions manipulated for propaganda. I'm left to wonder where the murdered filmmaker, forced painters, and wasted creatives could've been; I might have their art on my walls or analyze their movies. The "what could've been" looms heavily behind the words of this blog. The oblivious Red Cross and promise of help just inches away is even more frustrating. Deception proves, at least for me, to be the worst method of torture because of how close refuge could've been. This blog leaves me to wonder how different the world might be if those men, women, children, artists, and workers could've been spared.
    Annie Vedder

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  111. It’s crazy to think how effective the Nazis’ deception was. The euphemisms used such as “spa town” and “retire” contradict the fact that people watched the prisoners being tortured and killed. I can’t even believe how hard it must have been to have to bring your dead friend through tunnels. That shows how cruel the Nazis were. It’s inspiring and relieving to hear how hard the Jewish prisoners tried to keep a normal life. I was surprised to learn that some children attended school even when they were forbidden to. I can’t imagine the risk with doing so. It’s wickedly impressive that the Nazis were able to deceive the International Red Cross. The picture of the fake sinks stood out to me because it’s almost more work and hassle to have to create fake sinks. If they were going to create sinks in the first place, they should have just made them real. I guess this supports the fact that the Nazis were evil and cruel. I was honestly surprised that the Nazis allowed synagogues to be open. I guess they were too busy focusing on making sure they didn’t get caught.
    Ella Page

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  112. The thing that I find sickening in this blog portion was the amount of children killed. There were 10,500 children that passed through the camp, but only 242 survived. We talked a lot about morality before we began the Holocaust unit. We discussed that one form of a base morality was a child’s safety. Even if the immoral Nazis weren’t going to question the killing of children, why did this not have any effect on the bystanders. Over 10,000 children were murdered in this camp, yet the people who lived around the camp did nothing to protect these children from harm. What if it was their children experiencing the same thing? What if their child was stripped away from them and murdered? We watched the videos in class today about the baby in the car. One of the upstanders said that he would upstand again because he wouldn’t want his child to be in that position. Why did the countless people surrounding these camps not feel this way? Also I find it extremely courageous that the people in the camp composed, drew, painted, and wrote about the cruelties in the camps. The fact that the children went to school, and they had a small synagogue was incredible. They put their lives on the line to try to maintain a life that included some “normalities.” Even with the immense amount of fear the Nazis created, these people were able to spiritually rebel. Thank you again for writing this blog portion, Mrs. Stone.
    Elyse Duley

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  113. How Theresiendant was described as a “Spa Town” reminded me of the elementary school that they said they were creating. It is terrible how they disguise their terrible actions as normal ideas. This is why I think some of the public, definitely not all, could have been less motivated to suspect something was wrong. There were obviously bystanders who did nothing to help like the townspeople in “The Sunflower,” but I feel that because these ideas were disguised as normal situations, it wasn’t an automatic red flag for people outside of the camp. The Nazis motivation to create something this extravagant to be used for such terrible things is something that also caught my attention. They had their minds set on creating a beautiful place to achieve their “goal” of wiping an entire population.
    David Winslow

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  114. Something that really stood out to me was that Thersiedstadt was referred to as the "Spa Town" and that people would go there to "retire." These terms, or euphemisms, are contradictory to the true meaning behind the settlement as Thersiedstadt, like you wrote, functioned as a propaganda tool used for deception and exposed many of its inhabitants to murder and death. It was surprising to hear about this camp's deceptive tactics, and I believe that this made Thersiedstadt one of the most dangerous camps. Unlike other camps, like Auschwitz, which was known worldwide for its brutality, Therseidstadt was different. I found Therseidstadt's methods of torture to be amongst some of the most effective. For instance, hearing that the Nazis took time to create fake sinks was disgusting. Why even waste your time to make sinks that have no purpose? This truly demonstrated the Nazi's cruelty. Furthermore, I could not believe that of the 10,000 children within the camps, only 242 survived. Reading about this reminded me of the "What Would You Do?" episode we watched in class, where many individuals walked past the baby in the hot car. Why would the people who saw these children being killed not do anything to help them? This emphasizes the presence of bystanders during the Holocaust.

    -Sara Trochanowski

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  115. I think it is insane that even though they were losing the war, they almost didn’t care as much because their only goal was to kill all of the Jews. Looking at the statistic that 10,500 children passed through this camp, and only 242 survived gave me chills. I can not imagine the day they were separated from their families at such a young age only to be tortured and killed. When you talked about maintaining a state of normalcy, I had to take a step back and reflect upon that. My question is how? How do you even bear to paint a picture as you breathe in the smoke and ash from the crematorium. Although, after reading this entire blog, my new question is how could they go on without these hobbies? How could a person stay sane without an outlet to express themselves? This could also be considered a huge form of resistance. Maintaining this skill and hope in simple things such as singing, writing, and acting allowed these Jews to send a message of resilience to the Nazis.
    -Sophie Slayden

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  116. This place was deceptive. Made it into a nice little quaint town so the Red Cross can pass it off and they can go right back to killing children, absolutely disgusting. The fact that over 10,000 children came through this place and only 242 made it out is disturbing. When you are a child your worst nightmare is death and I can't imagine what these children faced, not just death. Also calling it a "spa town"! Ya good joke Nazis! How can they do so much and go to such great lengths to kill all these people. They put up gardens and "nice" hospitals and rooms for people to stay in, but when they leave it's right back to their same ways of torture and killing. Absolutely zero compassion of any sort. I can't wrap my head around that fact. These people were beyond animals.
    Benjamin

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  117. It angered me how the Nazis deceive the Jews yet again with Theresienstadt. The Nazis called it a spa town for elderly Jews. But it was just a center where they could gather up Jews to deport to ghettos and camps. The Germans knew what they were doing was wrong so they surrounded the camps with high walls so no one would see the awful things they were doing inside. It also angered me how the Nazis were so focused on killing all Jews that they built gas chambers while they were losing the war. Why was it so important for them to eliminate all Jews? They even let the red cross examine it, but they made it look really nice when the red cross came. This just shows how deceptive the Nazis were that they could fool the red cross into thinking they were doing good things. If the Nazis could fool the red cross they could fool the Jews as well, and they did.
    -Mac Patterson

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  118. I think that this camp was the most deceptive because of the way they filmed propaganda films and even added in different things such as gardens to make the Red Cross think that the camp wasn't such a bad place. What really stood out to me was when they had a Jew make the propaganda film for them but later on allowed him to die in another camp. - Lawson Swisher

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  119. This makes me wonder why even put the effort into deceiving people in this manner. If the goal was to get rid of “unpure” people, then just get rid of them. That is horrible, but at least its better than telling people that their fine and then backstabbing them. Did the Nazis not understand that Jews aren’t incapable of understanding their surroundings. It seems like the Nazis wanted to treat Jewish people like dogs who are being put down, but they are doing in a FAR less humane way. Also, it amazes me that the spirit of the Jewish “prisoners” was not broken for so many years. I think that if I were in these conditions I would have given up and just died before I ever thought about trying to live and create art as I had done outside of imprisonment.

    Nate Reiney

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  120. While reading the post, I was horrified to discover that the Nazis were cruel enough to create a camp that was filled with this much deception. I would’ve expected them to be outright with their hate for the Jews. I don’t understand why the Red Cross visited and then noticed no signs of hostility between the prisoners and the guards. The fact that there were playgrounds created in the camp is despicable. Additionally, I can’t believe how high the death rate was in the camp. The fact that the camp centered around deception is intense as you would expect the Red Cross to have recognized that the people were skinny from being starved. Also, I don’t see how they would have been able to make a believable cover up to disguise the true horrors that went on in the camp. Yet, I am surprised again to discover that they were in fact fooled.

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  121. The fact that the Nazis are acting like the two misbehaving kids, who in reaction to their parents coming, that create things to make everyone believe that they have been behaving. The Red Cross, who is supposed to be helping the Jewish people, fell victim to yet another Nazi propaganda tactic. I think it is crazy that the Nazis went to such extremes to make the Red Cross believe they are not doing anything wrong. I just don't understand why they hurt children; I get that you want to wipe out and exterminate all Jewish people but a kid? Really? I am interested to hear more about the Danish government and how they helped out the Jewish people or expressed their displeasure with what the Nazis were doing. Also, in agreement with what Benjamin said, the Nazis "sick joke" of the camp being called a "spa town" disturbs me because in tough situations I was taught to never give up hope, yet if the Nazis told me I was going to a spa town, but I ended up seeing children being stoned to death. Hope would be hard to find, if I made it out of that camp alive.
    Ryan Szeker

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  122. Like I said in a previous blog post, the most sickening thing about the Holocaust was the Nazis' duplicity. However I still don't understand why the Nazis did not want the Red Cross to see the true conditions of the camp. Were they worried that these conditions might ruin the reputation of Germany? I don't think that the Nazis were embarrassed of their actions, but they certainly weren't proud enough to flaunt them either. So, what was the reason? Also, once again, I was so impressed by all the photos on this blog. The photos inside these concentration camps make everything just seem so much more real. I also watched about five minutes of the tape that the movie director made. I watched in fascinating horror as I saw at the falseness of the entire movie. It was really quite astonishing about how all the scenes of the movie are so staged. It was like a completely different reality had been created. However, I did find the hidden messages super interesting. The Jews knew that was the only way their messages could come across.

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  123. It is so frightening to see how the Nazis were able to lie about so much and get away with it. Their duplicity is almost incomprehensible to me. I am somewhat curious as to why they felt the need to make the camp seem more humane when everyone already knew about the concentration camps and were not taking action. It also shows that the Nazis knew what they were doing was immoral because they would not have felt the need to hide the camps if they did not think they were doing anything wrong. The movie especially struck me for how falsely it portrayed the concentration camp. I was very sickened by the pictures of the camp. I tried to imagine myself sleeping on those wooden bunks and I know I would have hated it. Obviously the beds were not the worst thing about the camps, but I complain if my pillow is not just right; those beds really put my "problems" into perspective.

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  124. I am still amazed by just how skilled the Nazis were at deception. In the video, the town seemed like an ordinary German town. It had art, music, sports, and even a library where the Jews could learn. The people wore normal clothes and even seemed happy at times such as during the soccer game. The video showed no mention of any of the Jews being hurt, and if I hadn’t known that it was a death camp I would have never been able to tell. The statistics about the children shocked me. Out of about 10,500, only around 2% survived. How the Nazis were able to hide the fact that they were murdering over 10,000 children is a mystery to me. One of the ways that the Nazis were deceptive was through their use of euphemisms. By using words such as “retirement” and “spa town,” they created the illusion that this was a peaceful town. They also added things such as playgrounds and gardens to trick visitors into believing this. If the Nazis really cared that much about appearing benevolent to their people, why weren’t they just kind to them in the first place?
    Claire Porier

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  125. I'm surprised that the Nazis let the red cross in to see it, even if they made it look much more appealing. I would've thought that at least one of the prisoners would have found a way to tell the red cross representatives the true nature of the camp. I'm really surprised that none even tried to communicate with them. If they had been able to get a red cross representative to stay with them permanently, conditions would have been much better for the prisoners. I was also shocked by the fake sinks. It seems to me like building fake sinks would take about as much effort as building real sinks, so why did they not make them real? Did they just want to rub it in to the prisoners that they could build these things but didn't?
    -Brian Ramsey

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  126. This is a perfect example about how the Nazis lie about just about everything and are back stabbers because it shows the Nazis lieing to the Red Cross so that they can get what they want. I bet their "minister of public enlightenment" planned and arranged this all because he knew just how to trick people while he was harming them or people close to them.
    Charlie Robinson

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  127. I really hate to admit this, but I guess we are supposed to share our true reaction to the blog. When I watched the video about the camp, I could not help but think that place does not look that bad. I made myself realize that that is all completely a show. The Nazis were so truly deceptive throughout the whole Holocaust. That must have been so painful to pretend all the smiles that were shown throughout the video. We are constantly reminded of the euphemisms and lies that Nazis used in the camps. For example, I can't believe that they advertised this camp as a "spa town." That is so impossibly far from the truth.
    The one positive thing is that we continue to learn about resistance in these situations. Families continued to send their children to school even though it was not allowed. This is just one form of protest in this camp, but it shows that these people were looking for a future and wanted their children to be educated. - Moriah Campbell

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  128. Even though I've read things about the Nazis making names that sound more welcoming, it really bothers me that they called it a "spa town" just to make it sound better. For some reason I had never really thought about what actually happened to the children in the cams, and when I read this blog post it made it even more personal and real. I never realized that famous Jews were in the camps, and even though it's pretty obvious that they were because they were Jews, I was suprised when I read that part. While reading this post I wondered how the children went to school without getting caught, since they were forbidden to attend school. It was somewhat amusing to me that they tried to make the camp beautiful so they could have events there.

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  129. First of all, it surprised me that they would even need to mislead how people viewed this concentration camp. It was unnecessary because it was already very clear that the Germans disliked the Jews, so it wouldn't make sense for them to go out of their way to call it a retirement facility. This was shown when they were losing the war, and they still thought it was a priority to build gas chambers. It's also interesting to think that painters and artists were kept there and that they were allowed to make art. The fact that the Jewish community was able to create a synagogue is fascinating. You would think that they would want to stay away from that because of the potential punishments they might face, but they still did it for a sense of hope. Seeing the pictures of the hospital and how they were treated was surprising. It looked a lot nicer than I would have imagined.
    -Carson Bahr

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  130. I find it hard to believe that the Nazis would build “high walls,” so that the citizens/ bystanders couldn’t see in and see the nightmarish acts the Nazis were doing like stoning and torturing little, innocent kids. I thought it is horrible that the Nazis still wanted to build gas chambers even though they were losing the war, all they wanted to do was kill all Jews to “purify” the Globe. I also can’t believe how much effort they put into making it seem like the place was considered “nice.”
    - Brad McKewon

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  131. It amazes me how much deception can be found in these camps. I can’t believe that the Nazis would use so much money in order to fake how they were treating the Jews, but sadly it was probably just a part of their despicable plan. Something else that horrified me was that they released that video of the Jews being happy in the camp. The really sad thing is, if I had seen that video at the time and I did not live near any concentration camp, I definitely would have believed it. The last part of the blog that really stood out to me was the part in which you talked about how many children entered the camp, 10,500, and how many exited, 242. This made me think about how many people survived concentration camps in total. I wonder how many came from each camp and how many people managed to survive. It is a wonder that anyone would be able to live through that horrible experience.

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  132. It's crazy to me how set the Nazis were on eliminating the Jews. That goal came before winning the war. This particularly surprises me because most Nazis weren't born with this desire to eliminate Jews. They just wanted to bring back the glory of Germany. Hitler gave them a path to do that. Yet over time, the countries primary goal shifted from winning the war at all costs to eliminate the Jews at all costs, which is barbaric and disheartening. Also the lengths the Nazis went to deceive is astounding. At first I wondered why the Jewish prisoners didn't speak up when the Red Cross visited or inform them of what was truly going on. I assume that they were petrified of repercussions from the Nazis later. But also, I would think that the scrawny and starved state of the Jews would have been a warning to the Red Cross. Maybe the Red Cross didn't see the Jews, but at that point, what's the point of the visit? I feel that the Danish government, which was hailed as being awesome to Jews, could have done more.

    -Ely A

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  133. It is shocking to me how the Nazis put so much effort into hiding the true acts that took place at Theresienstadt. Why did it matter to them that no one knew about it since there were so many other awful death camps throughout Germany and Poland? This truly reveals the awful nature of the Nazis; they wanted to trick the Jews into thinking that they were safe only to torture and stone them. It was shocking to me how out of the 10,500 children who were imprisoned, only 242 survived. It was also completely cruel and inhumane to force one of the "prisoners" to direct a completely unethical film. The video shows the Jews working with no signs of torture, but the reality was much harsher and terrible.

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  134. The Nazis made a routine of eliminating the Jews,even when the Germans were losing the war they were still making gas chambers. It's crazy how much hatred the Germans had for the Jews,they would rather kill the Jews than save themselves. I can't believe that they labeled this place as a spa just so it didn't seem as sinister as the acts that took place in the massive walls surrounding it. They would even have people visit and renovate the camp! This makes the camp seem humane, and it's quite the opposite. They went to extreme lengths to trick people. I'm surprised that the usual helpful Danish government didn't do more to help.-Jayden Childress

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  135. The facts that 10,500 children came through this camp but only 242 survived gives me chills. I also can't believe the Red Cross walked through this camp and was convinced enough that these were safe living conditions. What did the Nazis tell the Red Cross the purpose of this ghetto? The sinks didn't even work and how'd they not notice the malnourished children or crematorium? If I were in this camp/ghetto, I'd be crushed if I thought help was coming to save me but then be approved of my living conditions?! I can't even begin to imagine what their schools were like. Living in constant fear and showing up to class everyday to less students because they were killed just doesn't seem real. I found it interesting to learn about the various hidden messages Jews would write on the walls as a call for help. --Marin BOulware

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  136. The situation in this camp reminds me of how Germany hosted the olympics, and nobody was able to see through the false picture they put in the country. When the red cross came, I don't understand how they weren't able to see through anything. Although the Germans put lots of effort into a fake facility, it seems inevitable that somehow the word would slip from a prisoner about the reality. I also think it’s stupid that the Germans put in so much extra work for this facility to make it seem nice. Those fake sinks they put in could very well work if they put in only a tiny bit more money. This is the only case I have heard about another country going into Germany to check on the conditions. It scares me that the Danish government was one of the few countries who actually cared about what was happening. -Macey Smith

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  137. It must be embarrassing for the Red Cross to see how easily they were tricked into actually thinking that the Nazis were treating the Jews with care and respect. Honestly, its more mind-boggling how they got away with the inspection than embarrassing. The Germans put in so much effort to create a whole new camp. It reminded me of the euphemisms they use, except this euphemism was the whole camp. They depicted it as a whole different thing to the Red Cross when in reality we know the terrors that occurred there. In addition, I was perplexed at the fact that the Nazi's main goal wasn't to win the war, but to eliminate all Jews. I would want to know if the Nazis had the option to win the war and rule most of the world, or eliminate all Jews, what would they choose? For any sane ruler, person, or country it is an obvious choice. It just goes to show how much hatred the Nazis had for the Jews and for no reason at all!
    -Carter Hensley

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  138. Your account of Theresienstadt made me realize the how delusional the Nazis were. It’s hard to believe that they put more time, effort, and money into tricking the world that Jews were taken care of than they put into the Jews’ actual accommodations. While reading this blog, all I could think was “why?!” Why would they possibly think that Jews had a disease? Why would the Nazis go to the trouble of installing fake sinks instead of real ones? Why would they put waste resources to create a guise of serenity? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand the Nazis’ disgust towards their victims. It also seems that the camp’s true purpose should have been obvious to the general public. What kind of place has towering walls besides a prison? The propaganda video mainly shows the Jews working, and I simply don’t understand how the Red Cross and Danish government were fooled by the Nazis! It should not have been easy to hide the torture inflicted upon the prisoners.
    - Ava Clark

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  139. The extent of the Nazis' duplicity will never cease to appall and horrify me. I cannot believe the Nazis would go through such lengths to trick foreigners and Jews, even to the very end. I am sickened by the fact that that 10,500 Jews came through this place and less than 300 survived. I am confused about how the Red Cross could have come through this camp and not noticed anything wrong. I simply do not believe this is possible and it may be that the Red Cross was anti-Semitic or just another scared bystander. -Cooper Owens

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  140. I am astonished how convincing Nazi propaganda can be. I am horrified that the Nazis were able to cover up their crimes so easily to the Red Cross. I am also ashamed in the Red Cross for not realizing that the Nazis were covering up their crimes. How could they not realize the fact that thousands of children were murdered in this place. In these pictures it should be concluded that there was no and no relaxation. These messages on the synagogue also surprised me. I am surprised the Jews could find a normalcy within this camp and create a synagogue. It seems that these people didn't lose their faith in God which surprises me given that most Jews did.

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  141. It's honestly astonishing how deed the euphemisms run in Germany. They created a concentration camp and called it a settlement for the elderly, created fake sinks to fool the red cross, and created fake situations. This article also shows the strength and resistance the Jewish people showed. They couldn't strictly fight back, so they wrote their dying messages to their gods and prayed that they wouldn't be forgotten. This showed that they never gave into the Nazi hatred and stayed strong with their religious values, truly fighting the Nazi's goal of breaking and destroying the Jewish religion. Taylor Fleeman

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  142. I'm shocked at how powerful the Nazi's propaganda can be. The sicking ability to create a concentration camp and advertise it as some sort of Sanctuary for Jews is horrible. The fact that the prisoners must have had to seen or heard the Red Cross would be visiting and there might be hope of better conditions, only for the Nazis to hide everything in the way they did must have broken many of the unbroken spirits among the victims. The facts on the children were also truly horrific to just see. I do not understand why this camp is not talked about if only 242 survived out of 10,500, and why more attention isn't brought to this place.
    -Filip Weil

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  143. The lengths that the Nazis went to in order to eliminate the Jews astounds me. The way that they advertised this awful place of death, torture, and suffering into a Jewish paradise is unbelievable. It was so easy to convince the outside world that everything was just fine, when in reality, the Nazis were creating more bodies than they could handle. Furthermore, I believe this illusion to perfection was toxic to the Jews. To be imprisoned in a place that seemed to be amazing, just to be tortured to death by ruthless Nazis. If only the red cross could have seen through the deception of the Nazis, thousands could have been saved.
    Ailish Coughlin

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  144. The deception by the Nazis was disturbing. How could anyone be fooled by their tricks? Why would anyone think that a place surrounded by high walls was a place for retirement and relaxation intended for elderly German Jews? The amount of children that had died here is truly disturbing. Only 242 children survived out of 10,500. This number does not even include adults. It is disturbing that the Germans would build a gas chamber even when they were losing the war. Also, how could the Red Cross fall for such a scheme in the first place!?

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  145. It's still shocking how any of this was allowed for so long. Did no one think about where these people went? For the thousands of children killed, as well as the thousands of Germans moved to the ghettos, how did no one notice? Or did people not care enough to make the initiative to say something about it? The high walls, and lack of communication make it seem very obvious that something wasn't right. I don't think I'm the only one who would think that. - David Hanley

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  146. It was horrible to see how the Nazis lied to its citizens about what happened in Theresienstadt. The Germans all seemed to be indifferent towards the plight of the Jews so I wonder why the Nazis felt the need to deceive the public? The amount of people that died in the camp surprised me as well. How did the public not find out? Personally, I believe that the citizens suspected what was going on in the camp, but when the citizens realized what happened, they would have to realize their role in the cruelty towards Jews. Another thing that surprised me was the amount of Jews that died there that apparently went unnoticed 200 people being burned a day would be a hard thing to hide from the public. However, I was confused by life in Theresienstadt. The Jews went to school, created art, and gave lectures but they were also brutally murdered in the same place. I can only imagine how disorenting that would be.
    ~ Savannah S.

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  147. The idea that Nazis told people that Theresienstadt was a retirement home discusts me. German Jews believed that they were moving to a prestine retirement complex, and instead, they were tortured, starved, and killed. It amazes me how the Jews were able to persevere and stay positive through these times. Their light andhope is portrayed through the words written inside the synagogue. Through everything, the Jews stayed true to what they believed in. Also, the art created by the children within ghr camp is truly fantastic. They created such magnificent paintings and drawings, as well as went to school even though it was prohibited. This shows that every "prisoner" made the most of a terrible situation.
    -Giuli Iannitti

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  148. I was just in awe learning about Theresienstadt. I never even knew it existed until reading this blog post. The fact that over 10,000 kids entered this hellhole and only 242 survived just astonishes me. How can the Nazis be so heartless. The pictures also makes me curious to wonder why when the Red Cross came to this location or saw pictures why weren't any people in the pictures. Did that not make the Red Cross suspicious or even curious to where the

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  149. After reading this blog post on Thereistadt, I have formed many of my own opinions. I am absolutely appauled that Nazi soldiers would go through so much trouble to make the camp seem decent just so they could continue their killing opperation. I was also interested to learn about the “freedoms” this camp entailed. I was shocked when I learned that the children were allowed to attend school. Such freedoms are something I would never expect in a concentration camp, even if it was considered a more “normal” concentration camp. Although all of these things resonated with me, the one thing that affected me the most in this blog post was the pictures of the hidden messages. The fact that these people were so trapped that they had to resort to writing messages no one would ever see is absolutely heartbreaking. Although the messages in themselves are horrific because of their history, the fact that we today are able to see them and get some insight into the prisoner’s mindsets is extremely interesting.
    -Lexi Amedio

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  150. It is unbelievable to me that they were so much time and money spent on making the conditions of the camps seem ok when they were really monstrosities. Why couldn’t they have just provided the Jewish people with that already if they already had to fake it. The picture of the hospital is crazy! It is small and made of wooden planks, which I guess are beds. Those are not conditions for suitable hospital. And when you included the part about four to five Jews in a tiny little shower that made me so sad. The nice clean new sinks compared to the reality of the tiny showers that were shared is awful. They beautified the Ghetto when the Nazis came. They planted flowers, which must have meant that they had been planning it for a while. I just don't understand why they could not let the Jews always have these conditions. And I’m sure that they removed all of this once they left anyways.
    - Lillian Smith

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  151. What really disgusts me about this blog post was the amount of children killed. No person, much less a child should have to go through anything remotely close to this. Before studying the holocaust, as a class we talked about morality. I do agree that there should be some baseline morality, but this is just so far over that line, I don’t really know what to say or how to react. I don’t understand why someone would want to do something like this.


    -Sunil Mehta

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  152. It is entirely wrong if the first I heard about this camp was from this blog. This was one of the most deadly camps, but not one single person cared enough to thoroughly check. An unplanned visit would have shown the true horror. Nope. They were going to sit back and listen to the lies spouting from the Third Reich. They checked, but they announced they would check. If you give time for people to prepare to lie it will be an elaborate maze of twists and turns. They will lead you in one direction when you should be going the other. Sigh.

    -Ethan Fronapfel

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  153. Soren Gautam

    It was shocking to read this and find that only two percent of the children survived from the camp. It makes no sense why all these kids would die in a place that was considered by the world as some sort of settlement. They even made it look clean and well taken care of when the Red Cross came to visit but returned it to the horrific place it truly was once they left. I’m actually somewhat surprised at how quickly and easily they could make the place look nice and organized when the Red Cross came because the Red Cross did not have even a hint of what was truly going on. It is also disgusting that they had such high walls around the camp, so others can't see the torture taking place and do something to stop it. Even the video they made only shows the work that was being done in the camp but not the more brutal aspects involved.

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  154. The camp of Theresienstadt is possibly the best example of the Nazis use of dehumanizing tactics against groups of people. It was the prime example of them going about the Holocaust in secret, not owning up to the things they've done. They tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of people and tried to hide and conceal it. I also can't believe that only about 200 children came out of 10,500 that passed through. I'm shocked that the Redcross didn't figure it out.
    -Evan Pratt

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  155. Gillian Morano
    English
    4th Block
    12/18/2019

    It is so disturbing that people were deceived to go to the “spa town” only to be lead to their death. Just like the children who were supposedly going to kindergarten but ended up being taken away, I find it to be such a horror that people were treated so terribly. Only 242 children survived Theresienstadt out of 10,500 which is just about 2 percent! The other 98% of children died which is so devastating. 98 percent of the children never got to live past these horrible experiences, and the other 2 percent had to live with the memories of the experience. One question I have after reading this blog was how children were able to secretly participate in school when they had such a lack of privacy. It is sad to know that the Danish government cared but nothing happened.

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  156. It is shocking that a place like Theresienstadt could so effectively be used as a tool of deception. It's hard to believe that any place could be portrayed as "safe" for the Jews at that time. However, it is easy to understand how most could not fathom the terrible acts of cruelty and the massive loss of life taking place in the concentration camps. The brutal nature of the Nazis was inconceivable. It is awful that they killed so many children. The statistics are so unbelievable that it makes me wonder how the 242 survived. The fact that they were considering new ways to execute people when they were losing the war demonstrates their intense desire to fulfill their mission of killing as many Jews as possible. It is interesting that there was such cultural development at Theresienstadt. It is good that the victims were able to document the harsh realities of life in the camp, so the Nazis could not deny the claims. I wish the Red Cross had not announced their visit. They were not getting an accurate account of what was happening. I can't believe they were fooled by the fake sinks. I guess when everything has been beautified, it is easy to be deceived.
    Stanton Bryson

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  157. To read that only 242 out of 10,500 people survived the Theresienstadt camp was astounding. Simplified, 242 out of 10,500 is about two percent. That’s insane! Only two percent of people survived this camp. What makes it worse is that this particular camp was disguised to look like a place where elderly Jews could retire in safety. In reality, that definitely was not the case. It makes me so angry that the main purpose of the Nazis wasn’t to win World War Two, it was literally just to kill Jews. Even though there were extremely harsh conditions, artists painted, actors acted, and writers wrote. Children even went to school! This shows me that maybe there was a possibility that the Jews had some hope for themselves, even if only two percent of them actually survived. It also angers me that the Nazis put in so much effort to glorify the concentration camp and hide what was actually occurring. If they hadn’t, the Jews might’ve been freed!
    -Sam Wofford

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  158. I find it extremely interesting that there were places like this during the Holocaust. I always thought it was strictly concentration camps and ghettos. The Nazis described this place as a “spa town” and they made it seem like a luxury in comparison to the other camps. However, it was all a hoax and they still killed thousands of people here. It is interesting to me that there were very many high profession Jews there including professors, musicians, artists and more.I cannot believe that the Nazis would go through so much trouble and planning just to enhance their killings! I don’t think it was really necessary to trick the Jews like that, but the Nazis would not anything they could to torture them. I also think it is insane that they would the decency of the place when the red cross came. When I saw the pictures of the fake sinks it made me sick. One thing that resonated with me the most was the hidden messages that we could still read today. The only wayJews could express themselves was through these hidden messages.
    -------Emi Jones-------

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  159. I find it interesting how Theresienstadt was neither a ghetto or a concentration camp but rather disguised as a place where Jews could retire. It really was a place they would be deported out of to ghettos or killing centers. I was not surprised to hear how the area was surrounded with walls to keep the torturing of prisoners a secret. Like many crimes that the Nazis commited during the Holocaust, they tried to cover it up because they probably realized what they were doing was wrong. It is horrifying that there were so many people killed a day and that they had to build ways to take care of all the bodies. It is hard to think about that out of these millions of people, each one of them had a personal life with family and friends, yet their life was taken so carelessly.
    Emary Gordon

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  160. Out of all the concentration camps we have learned/read about, Theresienstadt is the most shocking to me. The fact that the Nazis deceive the Jews by telling them it is a place for "retirement" is simply absurd. Another thing that stood out to me was the propaganda film and the Red Cross visit. The film portrayed the camp as a fun place where Jews were content. However, they were actually being killed and tortured. Also, it was very disturbing to me that the Nazis beautified the camp for the Red Cross. If I was a Jewish prisoner in this camp, I would extremely frustrated knowing the Nazis put on a show for the Red Cross just to impress them. They shouldn't have even had to disguise the camp in the first place if they had any sense of humanity and morality. It is awful that they went back to torturing the Jews right after the Red Cross' visit.
    -Ava Harrell

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  161. I wonder how Theresienstadt isn’t considered a concentration camp. Killing, torturing, and prisoners on a daily basis in addition to having crematoriums sure seems like an extermination camp to me. Why was it called a “spa town” for elders when there were thousands of children there as well? How were the kids able to attend school when they were surrounded by high walls and were forbidden too? I’m surprised many were even alive long enough to go to school. Why was the camp beautified for the Red Cross visit, but then everything was taken away after? I feel like it would make most sense to just keep the renovations as they probably took a lot of time and effort. I'm impressed that the Jews were able to have a small synagogue there. The messages written on the walls were very chilling, but I'm sure they gave a lot of insight after liberation of the true nature of the "town."
    - Jordan Browning

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  162. I never knew there was a place such as Theresienstadt. The lengths that the Nazis would go to for propaganda astounds me. So many people were killed in a place that was viewed by everyone else as a “spa town”. I applaud all of the Jews who lived in this horrendous town but still tried to make a life out of it. They did what they could to pass the time and try to make other people aware of what was really going on. The fact that the Nazis had to completely stage a scene for the Red Cross shows they knew they were doing something wrong. No amount of gardens or fake sinks could change what was really going on. I was surprised that the Nazis did not care about the hidden synagogue. I thought they would destroy anything that resembled the Jewish religion.
    - Ashley Szymonski

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  163. I never knew that there were other places for Jews than concentration camps. I am shocked that they call a settlement a “spa town” when the settlment’s death rate was so high. I am proud of all the Jews who lived in these camps and settlements because they experienced terrifying times and still tried their best to survive. The Nazis one goal and only goal is “unpure.” They say that the Jews were “unpure,” but their whole entire plan is considered “unpure.” Also I am surprised that the children attended school while they were not allowed to. This attending shows determination on their part. I am also surprised that Red Cross would pass the settlement’s inspection. People were dying every day, and Red Cross still decided that it was a safe place.
    -Emma Grace Parker

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  164. The part that stood out to me the most in this entry was that “the ghetto was beautified.” When I read this, I was confused and shocked. I can’t believe that in order to prepare for the Red Cross visit in June 1944, the Nazis made an actual effort to cover up the harsh reality of the ghetto. You can not just pretend you are not killing hundreds of children a day. How did the Red Cross let the camp pass its inspection? The real question is why didn’t the Jews do something while the Red Cross was there. Could they not have revolted and tried to show the Red Cross that the place was actually hell? I understand that they might have been killed, but would it not have been worth it to expose the Nazis? The fact that over 10,000 children were tortured and killed is so heartbreaking. How could 20th-century people murder such innocent lives?
    -Lila Barenberg


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  165. Its horrifying how 10,500 children passed but only 242 Jewish children survived. It's also terrifying how they were tortured and stoned to death. I also find it shocking how people viewed this place as a “spa town” but they were only being deceived. The people did not question the high walled off town that was basically a death camp. They decorated the camp by painting the houses and planting plants to deceive the people and portray a peaceful town. I'm surprised that no one knew it was basically a death camp, or the people knew but were just too afraid to step in. The people who knew just wanted to stay alive instead of help the JewsThe Nazi’s mentality is just crule and discusting. How can they view religion as “impure” and inferior and use that as a reason to exterminate them.
    - Sebastian Zarta

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  166. The idea that a machine was constructed to take up to 200 lives everyday is beyond inhumane. When I first read that the town was designed to be a "spa town" where elderly German Jews could "retire" in safety, I was in complete denial that the Nazis could show any sympathy. This proved to be correct. It was extremely disturbing to hear that less than 3% of the children who went into the camp came out. It’s so saddening and angering that so many Nazis blindly took orders and murdered so many innocent children. 10,258 individual child lives being violently taken is unforgivable. After reading the blog, I looked into the pictures. The one image that stood out to me was the sculpture, which encompassed the raw reality which the Jews had to suffer through everyday. The people depicted in the sculpture were nothing but skin and bones, and they reflected a feeling of hopelessness and desperation which I think provides an idea of what the overall feeling amongst the Jews was and the terrible conditions in which they were made to suffer in. Some of the people in the sculpture are leaning on each other, and I believe this represents how they had no one but each other to find comfort in, although true comfort could sadly never be attained while in their conditions.
    Leo O'Neill

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  167. Makayla Gathers

    How could the people of Germany see a gigantic wall blocking off an entire “settlement” and just be okay with it? How could they see the black smoke from the crematorium and smell the bodies burning and not even be concerned? The Nazis were monsters and they are the cause of 10,500 young lives lost. Did they also kill the older Germans that wanted to retire? Or was that a distraction that nobody really believed? I’m glad the Jews were able to rebel and try to claim back their life by taking part in their culture and maintaining daily life. It’s so infuriating the lengths the Nazis went to hide their projects. It’s sad that the people who were stuck in the ghetto/camp weren’t able to reach out for help when help was right there in the camp, fooled by the pretty flowers. The film that was created as propaganda looks like the film that the soldiers showed the soldiers in training in the Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I doubt many people believed all of what they saw in the videos because they saw the mistreatment of Jews in their everyday life.





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  168. Pure trickery kept Theresienstadt afloat. Trickery to the Jews: the Nazi’s advertizement of Theresienstadt as a “spa town” or nursing home for Jews lured them into its deadly trap. The Nazis managed to convince hundreds of an untruth. Although, I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. After convincing much of the world that Jews were “creatures,” why should presenting a deportation facility as a retirement home be any difficulty at all? After dehumanizing an entire people to the point where their absoulte massacre was simply observed and allowed, why wouldn't they be able to lure innocent elderly to their deaths? The Nazis also tricked the red cross. They “beautified” the “town.” They added fake luxuries. They plotted showy social events. They sought to mislead at every chance. The Nazi’s only goal concerning Theresienstadt was to keep it running. They wanted to “process” as many Jews as possible in as little time as possible. I believe that Theresienstadt was likely presented as a challenge. It was likely a fun secret to keep from international powers; a fancy diversion from murder that allowed imaginative Nazis the chance to pretend innocence.
    -sophie thrasher

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  169. The euphemisms “settlement,” “spa town,” and “retire” demonstrate the good the Nazis thought they were doing or made other people think they were doing. A survival rate of 2% is extremely low. 200 bodies per day is a ton of people. Comparing this to the population of Myers Park, all the people of our school would be dead in less than three weeks. The showers pictured are disgusting in general. I can not imagine sharing it with four or five other people. I don’t think I would ever use those myself. The sinks looked like the nicest thing at the camp until I saw that they were fake. What is the point of a fake sink? The pictures drawn by the kids really represent their voices during the Holocaust and their abiity to have their own ideas in a such a torture filled place.
    -Emma Groves

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  170. To see how the Nazis presented themselves as "Kind" and allowing Red Cross to see that the Jews had a "Joyful" life is absurd. The Jews were given a few days where given a decent life, and then all that was taken away when the Red Cross left. They went to so many extra lengths to trick people into thinking they were giving the Jews nice lives, and even the video! All I could think is why can't they actually treat them this way. and I know the Nazis had their reasons, but it still makes me mad. The kids who went through there and the kids that survived. 10,500-242!! I can't imagine how that looked, and how they and their parents felt knowing this was the end. It's truly shocking they played it off to everyone else that was around the ghetto that it was a "Spa town" and allowed for "relaxing" retirement, and they built the walls higher so they couldn't see anything!! I wish they would've found out, or the Red Cross would see past their fake sinks and their "nice place for Jews' and get them in trouble for treating the Jews so poorly. But if I were them it would be hard to believe that anyone would treat another human being like they did.

    Sofia Christofaro

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  171. This was a small town that the Nazis set up to trick the red cross and other countries about what they were doing during the Holocaust. On the outside this town presented as a nice place for old German Jews to retire. In reality this place was hidden so the Nazis could do whatever they wanted. Many people died there, including thousands of children. This town was not considered a camp but it contributed to the death of thousands of people. When the Nazis would hear that the red cross was coming to visit, they would force the prisoners to plant gardens and wear clean clothes. They would also so the red cross a staged community area that looked nice. Once they would leave the Nazis would return to the murdering of Jews.
    Ann Slegelmilch

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  172. When I read that the ghetto was described as a "spa town," I was amazed. How can a place so horrific that over 10,000 children were murdered there be called a "spa town" is ridiculous. I was also appalled at how the Germans made tons of modifications just for the red cross. They have to know that they are doing something truly terrible if they alter everything about their operation to look good for the red cross. Also, the living conditions that the Jews are in is horrible. They sleep on overcrowded wooden planks that have barely any head space, their showers are disgusting, and their hospital only looks like it would spread germs and disease. I don't understand how the Nazis could live with themselves knowing that they are treating the Jews unfairly.

    - Josh Matushak

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  173. Chidimma Umerah

    This post has made me question whether the Red Cross were there to visit or to help. Sure, you can pretty up the paintings and make the area look nice. But is it possible to erase the scars that the Jews had? Did any of the nurses actually take the time out of their day to sit and talk with a Jew. How does one hide the undernourishment and suffering of tens of thousands of people? Did they visit the synagogue and ask a Jew to translate the writing? Didn't the world know what was happening to the Jews? Why did nobody question it?

    Chidimma Umerah

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