In today's Daily Express there's an article about a Dutch Jew named Mr. Steven Frank, who has lived in Britain since after the war. His father and uncle were both deported to Auschwitz, but he and the other family members (his mother and two brothers) were placed on the Barneveld List ('higher echelons of Dutch Jewish to be retained by the Nazis as a future bargaining tool') and survived the war, being held in the camps of Westerbork and Theresienstadt.
Here's the pertinent extract:
As the war turned against the Germans, the camp became more crowded. Thousands of inmates were dying from typhus and hunger. In late 1944, rather than transporting Jews to the death camps, the Germans decided to build new gas chambers in Terezin [alternative name for Theresienstadt]. "They'd ironed out the bottlenecks for maximum efficiency. These were to be the 'Mark Three' of gas chambers," says Steven.
In mid-February 1945, the inmates spent the day building their own death chamber and at night watching the sky turn crimson as the Allies bombed Dresden. He adds: "We didn't know if liberation would come before the gas chambers were used."
On May 8, 1945, as one of the few English speakers, Steven's mother was summoned by a group of Russian prisoners to listen to a hidden radio. It was Winston Churchill's broadcast that Germany had capitulated and the war would be over by midnight. The Next 48 hours were chaos. "Nobody knew what would happen. Would the guards rush us through the gas chambers, sitting there all shiny and new, or would they shoot us? In the end they just fled."
Having never heard of this allegation before, we turned to our trusted research partner, Mr. Google, who turned up this rather dubious source:
According to the Ghetto Museum, in 1945 a homicidal gas chamber was built in a corridor of the town's fortifications wall near the Litomerice gate, which is right by the Bauhaus building. According to Martin Gilbert, this gas chamber was never "activated." The homicidal gas chamber is on the opposite side of the town and directly across from the Hunters barracks, where the disinfection gas chambers were located in an identical building. The ghetto inmates became aware of the Theresienstadt homicidal gas chamber and were planning to blow it up, but the war ended just in time to save the Theresienstadt Jews from being gassed right in the ghetto.
http://wearcam.org/envirotech/disease_e ... story.html