Floods – June 2013

When a flood wave began to pick up in strength in Southern Bohemia at the end of May 2013, it was becoming more and more certain that water would come again into the Terezin town after years as well as into the Terezin Memorial. On Monday 3rd June low-placed expositions, depositories, archives and offices were evacuated. Where possible, flood defences were placed. The Memorial like the whole Terezin town was closed and no more was to be done than to wait and see what would be happening further on. Water was slowly going up. In the end, Courtyard IV in the Small Fortress, execution place and so-called underground corridor were flooded with leachate. Water also appeared in the basement of the “Manor House”. Completely flooded were the Jewish Cemetery with the crematorium, Columbarium and the Central Morgue.

Thanks to flood barriers around Terezin water did not get into the town itself. Without harmful consequences therefore remained the GhettoMuseum, Magdeburg Barracks, former chapel in Dlouha St. and the attic replica. Although water ceased rising on 6th June, we had to wait until the river calmed down and returned in its riverbed. Terezin still remained cut off from the outside world. After a week, the situation began to improve and on Monday 10th we could finally start returning the evacuated collection items back into their exposition places, and documents and collections back to the depositories. On 12th June 2013 we were able to welcome visitors at the Memorial gates again.

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However, the operation is limited due to the extensive damage in some places of the Memorial. Gradually, the most affected objects are being opened to the public, for example the crematorium at the Jewish Cemetery, which was the most affected place as the flood water reached a height of nearly three meters there. Similarly flooded was also the building of the former Central Ghetto Morgue. Information on the current situation of the above-mentioned places is published on the Memorial websites and Facebook.


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