An Artists’ Haven In The Midst of A Man-Made Hell

The little town of Terezin, in the Czech Republic, is known throughout Eastern Europe by the strangest of descriptions: “best of the Nazi hells: a ghetto with a swing band, a concentration camp with shoe stores and cafes… At a time when Jews were banned from going to school, Terezin became their university: 2,430 lectures took place, on such topics as the Jews of Babylon, the theory of relativity, Alexander the Great and German humor.” For many, Terezin was merely a waystation on the horrible road to Auschwitz, and yet, its denizens have had an outsized impact on Jewish art and culture in the region.