Last Deportations

In mid-January 1945, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office) issued the order to “transfer all Jews living in mixed marriages and fit to work, both citizens and the stateless, to labour duty in confinement” in the Terezín Ghetto on mass transports, if possible by 15 February.

Helene Schuch of Weimar recalls: “Following endless abuses and humiliations throughout the previous Nazi period, I was summoned to the Gestapo on the morning of 31 Jan. 1945 and, crowded into closed railway wagons along with other fellow sufferers, taken to the Terezín concentration camp that afternoon. In May 45 the rapid advance of the Red Army saved us from certain death in the gas chamber.”

Transport XVI/5, comprising 172 Jewish men and women from 50 towns in central Germany, arrived in Terezín on 2 February 1945. Further transports followed.

(Harry Stein)

Source: “Lebenslauf Helene Schuch, 3. Dezember 1946” (Landesarchiv Thüringen – Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar).

Reference: Lisa Hauff (ed.), Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945, vol. 11: Deutsches Reich und Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren April 1943–1945, Berlin and Boston 2020.