Messages From the Past – Poterne III

After decades of military use, after debris was cleared and the fortress gate Poterne III* was finally open in 2005, countless graffiti (stone wall carvings) that had been carved into the sandstone came to light. Among these are many whose meanings cannot be deciphered. The dates 1942, 1943 and 1944 are clear. We recognize symbols of hope and faith, signatures, transport numbers, names and dates.

Most of the authors were prisoners and members of the ghetto police who were themselves prisoners recruited to the service. For almost 70 years, the Poterne III kept its secrets. To date, none of these remnants from the past have received any attention. Our goal is to change this and attempt to reconstruct the lives of the authors. We plan to publish our detailed findings online at

*According to Glossarium Artis: Poterne was a tunnel-shaped, often a vaulted passageway through a fortress wall providing cover for troops or transport of weapons, equipment and ammunition within a fortress.


Were you imprisoned in Theresienstadt or do you know people who were imprisoned in the city (1941-45)?
Please visit our photo galleries. Do you recognize anything? Please share your knowledge with us. We would appreciate a short message from you.

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