Terezín is a small fortress town situated in Litoměřice district, in the Ústí nad Labem Region, only 2 km southeast of Litoměřice, near the river Ohri near its confluence with Lab.
The fortress was founded in 1780 by Josef II. In 1782 it was declared a free royal town. The Emperor Maria Theresa gave the Emperor Maria the name of the town in honor of her mother (but then changed her sister fortress Ball in East Bohemia to Josefov until his death). In 1790, the fort was capable of defending.
The purpose of the fort was to protect the access roads that hostile armies advanced during the Prussian-Austrian wars in the 18th century. The fort was built at the very end of the bastion fortification era, according to the suggestions of the fortress school in the French town of Meziéres, and represents a world-class strength system. However, its defensive military mission was never actively fulfilling, its existence sufficient to deter the Prussian striker (but later proved to be a great dungeon many times).
About 15,000 people worked on the construction of their own fortress with an annual consumption of around 20 million bricks. Due to the construction of the fortress, the river Ohře was transferred to the artificial riverbed a few hundred meters further westward (the original stream flowed in front of the Small Fortress - it is still kept in the maps like Old Eger Fluss). The crew of the fort had to be about 11,000 men at the time of the war. The defense system consists of the Main Fortress on the left bank of the New Ohra and the Small Fortress on the right bank of the Old Ohře.
World War II
During World War II, the Main Fortress on the left bank of the river served Nazi Germany as a Jewish ghetto. A small fortress on the right bank of Ohře, situated on the road to Prague, then sadly became famous as a prison of the Prague Gestapo (sometimes it is mistakenly stated that a concentration camp was established here). For these purposes, the Nazis established a special railway siding that led from the nearby Bohušovice nad Ohří railway station from the south to the southern walls of the Main Fortress.
At the time of the Second World War, the Nazis, directly from the streets of the city, drove the concentrated Jewish population directly to the death camps of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno and others located in Poland and other occupied territories of Eastern Europe. The Terezín Memorial is now set up in the Small Fortress and the building is now also a national cultural monument.