“If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ”
(Michael Crichton)


"Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it.”
(Lemony Snicket)


Michaela Vidláková

In March the Czech students met an elderly lady Michaela Vidláková, who (as a child) survived the Terezín (Theresienstadt) ghetto. She was invited by the history teacher and spoke about her life in the ghetto. Consequently the students started looking up information about people like her. The most interesting video that they found was made with this Michaela so they shared it with their partners and also sent them a set of questions to be answered.

Pavlína, one of the Czech students, wrote about the discussion:

On Friday, 22nd March 2013 our grammar school was visited by Dr. Michaela Vidláková who at the age of three was moved together with her parents to the Theresienstadt ghetto during the Second World War. Dr. Vidláková told us the story of her family. From her story we learned a lot about the course of life in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Dr. Vidláková came together with Ms. Hana Vavříková, who introduced the Holocaust and also gave us an idea of the history and customs of the Jewish people.


How Dr. Michaela Vidláková Survived

Documentary by Kelly Mc Ilvenny

Tweny Years After: the Czech Experience from Kelly McIlvenny on Vimeo.

How Dr. Michaela Vidláková survived - QUESTIONS

1 What is the toy of the little dog made of?
2 When did her family come to Terezín?
3 How old was Michaela when she came to Terezín?
4 How many people does she say died in Terezín?
5 How many people came to the Terezín concentration camp during WW 2?
6 How did she lose many of her friends in Terezín?
7 How were her father, mother and Michaela herself lucky?
8 What did Michaela sometimes give to the old people staying in Terezín?
9 Where was she when she was seriously ill?
10 Why weren´t the people from Terezín allowed to leave the concentration camp as soon as the war ended?
11 Where did her friend´s mother work?
12 When did she feel free for the first time?

Terezín (German: Theresienstadt)

ADOPTED FROM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terez%C3%ADn

Terezín (German: Theresienstadt) is the name of a former military fortress and adjacent walled garrison town in the Czech Republic. It was a Nazi transit camp and Ghetto during WW II (see List of Nazi concentration camps e.g. here: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nazi_concentration_camps  ).

During WWII, the Gestapo used Terezín, better known by the German name Theresienstadt, as a ghetto, concentrating Jews from Czechoslovakia, as well as many from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark. More than 150,000 Jews were sent there, and although it was not an extermination camp about 33,000 died in the ghetto itself, mostly because of the deadly conditions arising out of extreme population density (in a space previously inhabited by 7,000 Czechs, now over 50,000 Jews were gathered). They died of hunger, stress, and disease, especially the typhus epidemic at the very end of war. About 88,000 inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps ( e.g. 1,600 Jewish children from Białystok, Poland, were deported to Auschwitz from Theresienstadt; none survived).  At the end of the war there were 17,247 survivors.

Part of the fortification (Small Fortress) served as the largest Gestapo prison in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, separated from the ghetto. Around 90,000 people went through it, and 2,600 of those died there.

It was liberated on 9 May 1945 by the Soviet Army.


1 What was the difference between the concentration camps Terezín (Theresienstadt) and Auschwitz?
2 Besides Czechoslovakia, which other countries did the Jews come from?
3 How many Jews were sent to Terezín?
4 How many people died there?
5 What did they die off?
6 How many people from Terezín were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps?
7 How many people survived in Terezín?
8 When was Terezín liberated?