“Terezín became a victim of its own haunted past… with a future frozen in time like a soul trapped in the purgatory of history. Its collective memory would fade from a fortress of lies… to a city of ghosts.” – “Terezin: The Fortress Of Lies”
Two expats, American Writer Rick Manore and Romanian Engineer Florin Radoi, were simply trying to occupy their time during the start of the relaxing of quarantine restrictions and decided to drive to the Garden of Bohemia to hike or explore nature, and maybe shoot some video with Florin’s drone. A stop in the town of Terezin changed not only their itinerary but in a way, their lives.
Taken by the somber and lonely place, they began to quickly Google the history of a town with a very strange and dark past.
“We just started shooting everything we could,” said Manore, the film’s writer and narrator, “then we came back the next week after doing more research on the Ghetto and the manipulative facade that the Nazi’s created with the town, and we started to put together a narrative.”
They did it with no museum access due to the quarantine, and the thought of interviewing any survivors was not an option either, “so we did the best we could with what we had,” Manore said.
“When we realized that the 75th Anniversary of Victory In Europe day was coming up, Florin worked late nights to edit and fit his terrific photography to my narrative.”
The result was the short film, “Terezin: The Fortress Of Lies.”
Director Florin Radoi said “The feeling I had visiting the place for the first time was too deep to express it in words. So I had to make this film.”
The Director also said that it was an incredible experience to make his first film ever.
“I had the feeling that the film was building by itself, and I was only a tool putting the pieces together.”
The 17-minute documentary was premiered on YouTube, Sunday, May 10th in celebration of the anniversary.
Most Americans have heard of the Death Camps (Auschwitz, Dachau, and Bergen-Belsen), but Terezin- and its convoluted role in the Holocaust is pretty much unknown there.
It was a way station for Jewish Germans, Czechs, and Danish on their way to their deaths in the East. The Nazi’s played it up as a “spa town.” Propaganda films were even made, horrible fantasies like, The Furher Gives A Town To The Jews which was never released, but the charade helped fool The Red Cross and others that Terezin was a “typical” Jewish resettlement camp.
Now we know the real truth, and as a result, Terezin has never quite recovered.