Cause of Death in Theresienstadt #austria-czech


Paul King
 

On 10 December 2013 Carole Vogel writes: "She perished in Theresienstadt
and I need some help translating the German medical terminology." Fair
enough. We, who lost relatives in Theresienstadt would like to know.
However, the officially written cause of death should be treated with
caution, if not disdain. Perusal of Livia Rothkirchen's "Gateway to Death:
The Unique Character of Ghetto Terezin", a brief chapter 9 in The Jews of
Bohemia and Moravia: Facing the Holocaust, gives a chilling picture of the
Nazi efforts to present a normal and healthy account of the welfare of
inmates. Thus, it is not the pneumonia, dysentery, heart failure or loss of
other organ functions, attributed as the immediate cause of death, but the
deliberate conditions of malnutrition, dampness and cold, trembling and fear
regarding the list for the next transport, and sanitary conditions, which
are the causes of death. But even the official records in many cases likely
conceal the final death-dealing pathology.

Paul King
Jerusalem

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