Database of the Inmates in the Terezín Police Prison

Team of authors led by Miroslava Langhamerová: Alena Hájková, Dagmar Holzhammerová, Valter Kraus, Dalibor Krčmář, Marek Poloncarz, Ivana Rapavá, Jan Vajskebr

The Terezín Police Prison (Polizeigefängnis Theresienstadt) was established in June 1940 and served as a transit facility of the Prague Gestapo Chief Office. Up to May 1945 approximately 32,000 prisoners had been transported there, mostly members of the home resistance movement as well as victims of retaliatory crackdowns by the German repressive forces, people imprisoned for individual acts against the Nazi occupation authorities and people punished for offences against labour discipline. There were also several dozens of inmates arrested for criminal activity or sexual offences. Many Jewish people were also jailed for their resistance activities and disobedience of the anti-Jewish regulations. A specific group of the Terezín Police Prison inmates was formed by the prisoners of war, mostly from the former Soviet Union, from Great Britain or the Commonwealth. The majority of inmates were subsequently transported to Nazi courts, prisons, penitentiaries and concentration camps, where many of them perished. Imprisonment in the Small Fortress proved to be fatal for approximately 2,600 prisoners who were executed there, beaten dead, or died of various diseases.

The aim of the database is to provide researchers and the general public with on-line access to the list of prisoners.. It is based on the original documentation from the time of the German occupation and the immediate post-war period. However, the original sources on the history of the Police Prison is considerably incomplete. Altogether, almost 200 sources of different nature and informative value were used in compiling the database. In terms of origin, the archival documentation can be divided into that kept by the Police Prison, now kept in the archive of the Terezín Memorial, and that of superior institutions, i.e. the Prague Gestapo and other repressive facilities. These documents are primarily deposited in the National Archives, but also in other domestic and foreign institutions. Also used were post-war materials, especially various records and memories serving mainly as an additional source of information.

The resultant database is the product of long-standing analytic work of the team of authors during which the individual sources were compared and the most credible data were sought. Due to the fragmentary nature of the sources, at least some information has been found and added to just about two thirds of the prisoners. Therefore, it is unlikely that the list of all the Terezín Police Prison inmates will be fully reconstructed in the future. For the same reason, the quantity of information given about each prisoner tends to vary.

The database will be continuously updated and supplemented with newly obtained information.

Problems encountered when working with the database

Due to the fragmentary character of the sources, which are often contradictory, there are no precise data available for all the inmates. The quantity of information on each inmate may, therefore, substantially differ. The data come exclusively from historical sources.

  • Name and Surname: there is a considerable variability in the spelling of the names, which makes it difficult to determine the correct form of the names and to identify the persons involved; when searching for a specific name, only the word root with the symbol * may be used (for example Černý, Czerny - *erný - *ern* )
  • Date of Birth: if the date varies in different sources, the alternative one is given under "Date of Birth 2"
  • Length of Imprisonment: if available, the dates of transport arrival and departure are given; if not available, the first and last documented presence of an inmate is given; in some cases no approximate time of imprisonment is apparent from the sources
  • Reasons for the Termination of Imprisonment: transport – inmate´s transfer to another repressive facility; death – due to illness or for unknown reasons; execution – death penalty executed under the so-called "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung); beaten to death – murdered by a guard or prison staff; discharged – released before the liberation of the prison; liberated – survived the war and was sent home by the medical and health personnel after May 5, 1945
  • Departure / Transport: name of the repressive facility (prison, penitentiary, concentration camp) to which inmate was taken
  • Final Termination of Imprisonment: last known place of detention with the date and reason for its termination (death, liberation, discharge)
  • Cell: known places of detention in the Small Fortress