The ''Podmokly (Bodenbach) Barracks'', in the beginning housing for the prisoners, and the ''Schleuse''. This was a specific Trezin expression for the place all transports had to pass, they were registered here and their luggage was being checked (in the particular at arrival in the Ghetto). In July 1943, the barracks were emptied and consequently used by the Archives of the RSHA from Berlin.


It was the wish of every prisoner in Terezín, first, that sof would soon come, and second, that he would get a parcel. The former must be left to fate, so we shall deal with the latter. Let us look at how such a parcel comes into being. It is a long, long story. First we must get a summons to the transport department for permission to send a Zulassungsmarke. Next, we send this to a relative, or an acquaintance who is only part Jewish. When the poor wretch gets the stamp, he can do two things. Either he says to himself that he hasn't got the money to go looking for things in short supply, and sells the stamp to somebody else for a high price. In this case, of course, the poor inmate of Terezín can wait an eternity, and his dream will never be fulfilled. Or, the adventurous benefactor may start looking for something to send. There are two ways he can do this. Either he will start looking for "nebbich" goods, that is, bread, potatoes, horseradish, or such like, or (what luck for the poor chap in the ghetto) he can take a lot of trouble over the parcel and track down dripping, butter, flour, etc. When this ceremony (the hunt) is over, he must pack that parcel. Naturally, that has to be done with great care, for God forbid the parcel should come open on its way. Then he posts it, and his task is done. As soon as the happy recipient in the ghetto gets his notification, he gathers a platoon of men to come and help him. At the post office he gets in line, and when his turn comes he pays his fifty crowns and he receives his parcel, full of joy at the size of it. Once home, he immediately flings himself upon the contents and, with Epicurean delight, gobbles up the various delicacies and sings the praise of the people who took pity on him. He sends off a letter of thanks in the hope that very soon he won't have to accept gifts from strangers and that he will be a free man again.

Don Herberto (Herbert Fischl)


On Wednesday, November 3 (1943), I decided to have a look into the mysteries surrounding a citizen of Terezín and go to the Podmokly barracks. We began by going to Mrs. Laubová to ask her to sew our stars on firmly. Then we went through our pockets to make sure we had no contraband, and then set out on our merry way. When we got to the barracks my colleague Fischl saw a uniformed man and was so scared he ran about twenty meters. Finally, with God's help, we entered the home of the Terezín dictators Podmokly. The yard was in a terrible mess. The Israelites were assiduously pretending to work and walking nonchalantly past the gentlemen from the SS with their hands in their pockets. We entered the spacious hall of the former Zeughaus (arsenal), now a furniture warehouse. There we found hundreds of beautiful wardrobes, couches, tables, etc. lying about. Next we went up to the first floor where we saw a cinema under construction. A lot of people were running about and shouting at each other, for it was supposed to open the following day and wasn't finished yet. When we had had a good look at the beauty of the cinema and all its fixtures we went to the kitchen. There we found many "aryan females" running about in white aprons and white caps (as they do in the ghetto kitchens) busy at the two stoves, making browning for soup. The delightful scent of grilled sausage pervaded the kitchen. In the adjoining room were two boilers where soup and the other courses were being prepared for the entire Belegschaft. Out of interest we mention that the lunch menu consisted of soup, roast potatoes, potato salad and grilled sausage. Partly because our mouths were watering and also because we heard some suspicious shouting outside we left the kitchen, walked quickly through the barracks and outside so that we wouldn't catch hell.

- Fi Be (probably Herbert Fischl and Beno Kaufmann)