Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Czech Republic -- Terezin Tourism Woes

Agence France Presse has run an article about current economic and other woes in Terezin, the town north of Prague that was turned into a ghetto/concentration camp during World War II and serves as a memorial site for the Shoah.

Czech Town with Sad Past Fights Ghost Town Image
Dec. 1, 2008

TEREZIN (AFP)---The old Czech fortress town of Terezin, burdened by its past as a Jewish ghetto and transit camp under the Nazis then an army garrison under the communists, is trying hard not to become a ghost town.

"It would be good to have a magic wand, but we don't have one. Instead, we have a very long way to go," town hall secretary Miroslav Kubicek told AFP.

The town took a blow when the Czech army vacated the garrison in 1997, a move that slashed the population from 7,000 to today's tiny 2,000.

Most of those who have stayed are jobless, with little money to spend.

And efforts by the city council to breathe new life into the locality have so far ended in failure.

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