Jiri Munk's 'savings book' from Terezin

Jiri Munk's 'savings book' from Terezin
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  • Photo taken in:
    Terezin
    Year when photo was taken:
    1943
    Country name at time of photo:
    Protectorate of Bohemia/Moravia 1939-45
    Country name today:
    Czech Republic

One of the novelties in Terezin was also a bank, where you could 'save money'. I kept the savings book, where a person 'accumulated money' and you can see it in the picture. They began issuing worthless money, so-called Ghettogeld, with which you however couldn't buy anything.

A store was opened, where you couldn't buy anything, but where various mustard substitutes and other "groceries" were put on display. I've even kept this "savings book" where I was ostensibly saving money, because as a regular employee I was 'getting paid.' That was of course all only because of that commission.

They set up a children's playground in the park, and I heard that when the Red Cross commission arrived in Terezin, some children were playing on the new playground, and the commander at the time, Rahm, began to distribute to them chocolate, oranges and sardines in front of the commission. Everything was recorded on film, there's a film that exists about it from the well-known German pre-war director Gerron. The children had to say: 'Uncle Rahm, sardines again? Why are you giving us sardines again?'

It's all completely unbelievable. Basically neither the Allies nor the entire commission wanted to see what was being hidden behind this facade. The Swiss man that was head of the commission has to this day not admitted that a mistake had been made somewhere. I read his statement not long ago. He's constantly defending his actions back then. The German Red Cross was entirely under the influence of the Nazis.

Interview details

Interviewee: Jiří Munk
Prague, Czech Republic

KEY PERSON

Jiří Munk
Year of birth:
1932
City of birth:
Prague
Country name at time of birth:
Czechoslovakia
Occupation
after WW II:
Architect

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