Theresienstadt was  a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia near the German border. It was not a fun place to be towards the end although it was a good deal better earlier on - see Theresienstadt Camp  from Judicial. The Wikipedia does not approve of him. By the same token he tells us the inside story on them. I trust Judicial much more than the Wiki on anything even slightly contentious. It seems  that Terezin Concentration Camp and the Theresienstadt [ German form of the Czech? - Editor ]  Ghetto were close but not the same outfits.

Should you pass that way you can see camps at Buchenwald, Belsen, Auschwitz, Mittelbau Dora, Majdanek,  Sachsenhausen and many others [ List of Nazi concentration camps ]. They are not pretty. By the same token you cannot get to see the corresponding Russian operations which  were far more numerous and very remote.


Theresienstadt Concentration Camp Was Run By Jews
Mr. Alexander McClelland, 84, of Toronto in New South Wales, was an Australian prisoner of war of the Gestapo in Theresienstadt's "Small Fortress" prison in March-May 1945. The story of Australians in the Nazi concentration camp system is a largely unknown aspect of the Second World War. It is now at the centre of a campaign to right the historical record after a long-running act of historical falsification violated the truth, souring it for nearly twenty years.
Someone or some several had an agenda and lies were told. His own account comes through better - see the next one.

From Truth From A Concentration Camp     Survivor

To:  The MEDIA

Dear Sir / Madam,
                           My name is Alexander McClelland I am an Australian veteran of WWII, a TPI (Totally and  Permanently Incapacitated) and a survivor of a Concentration Camp.

Aged 19 I volunteered for the AIF and fought as a Bren Gunner in 2/1 Infantery Btn in North Africa, Greece and Crete where I was wounded and captured by German forces. I spent the rest of the war as a POW but due to my many escape attempts I was finally put into the TEREZIN Concentration Camp close to the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Czechoslovakia.

I have recorded my experiences in an autobiographical book entitled : 'The Answer- Justice.'  In 1965 I was featured in an award winning but historically inaccurate Australian television documentary on Theresienstadt called 'Where Death Wears A Smile.'

I don't receive my TPI Pension because of the heavy wounds I received in the battle action on Crete. I get my TPI Pension because of the inhumane treatment I received in the Concentration Camp. It is a mistake to believe that the Germans had enough spare manpower to staff and run the concentration camps. The Germans only guarded the outer perimeter of the camps, we Prisoners hardly saw German soldiers, so it was not the SS or German guards that beat me up daily.

No, the daily beatings that left me totally incapacitated, came from two fellow Prisoners called KAPOS.

Kapos (or Camp Police) had extra privileges, such as their own room and they also had power, For example the Power to say who got to visit the Camp Sick Bay or the Camp Brothel, and - because of the absence of the very disciplined Germans - these Kapos even had the Power over Life & Death.

The two Kapos that beat me daily, using a heavy wooden baton they called 'Herr Doktor' (The Doctor) were both fellow Prisoners, both were Jewish, one from Hungary and the other was, I believe, a Ukrainian. I was often a witness when they dragged other hapless prisoners from their cells onto the 'Appelplatz' and beat them to death with 'The Doctor'.

So whenever I meet a ' Camp survivor' now, I look him deeply in the eyes to see what sort of a 'survivor' they are; were they really a Prisoner just like me, or whether they were one of the many 'Privileged' ones who survived the war being more inhumane to other Prisoners than the Germans ever were.

As a matter of fact, it was a German SS Soldier who saved my life after the Kapos, who after beating me sent me outside the camp on a work detail, with a dangerously poisoned leg. The SS Soldier walking by saw my mates helping me, came over and then gave me his medical kit.

I now look deeply into the eyes of the 'survivors,' because I know that not all Concentration Camp survivors were innocent victims. I know that a lot of the Prisoners were brutal and inhumane criminals. The world has never been told the whole truth about what life in the Camps was like. All we ever hear or read in the media is , how bad the German guards were and how badly they treated their Prisoners.

I was in more than 8 POW Camps and a Concentration Camp, so who would know the truth? Me or the Media!

Alexander McClelland
PO Box 887   Toronto NSW 2283


Australian Prisoner of War and Theresienstadt Concentration Camp Survivor Says Australian Documentary Film Invented Massacre Story

Mr. Alexander McClelland, 84, of Toronto in New South Wales, was an Australian prisoner of war of the Gestapo in Theresienstadt's "Small Fortress" prison in March-May 1945. The story of Australians in the Nazi concentration camp system is a largely unknown aspect of the Second World War. It is now at the centre of a campaign to right the historical record after a long-running act of historical falsification violated the truth, souring it for nearly twenty years.

Mr. McClelland was a volunteer with the Australian Imperial Force and fought in the battles of Bardia, Tobruk, in the Greek campaign and on Crete. Mr. McClelland's military number (NX 732), by the military numbering system, revealed him as the 232nd New South Wales volunteer to fight Nazism. He was wounded and became a prisoner of war on Crete in May 1941. Lt. Colonel Ian Campbell, overall commander of the Australian force which successfully defended Rethymnon airfield, won the military praise of German General Kurt Student.

Mr. McClelland's repeated escapes from custody ultimately caused his incarceration in The Small Fortress, the Gestapo prison at Theresienstadt.

In 1970, after living abroad, Mr. McClelland returned to Australia. In poor health, he finally told his story. But Australian authorities - and even his own family - refused to accept that he had been a prisoner at Theresienstadt. The official wisdom was: "you're not Jewish; how could you come to be put in a Nazi concentration camp?". Everyone relied on certain false army records entered up not long before his repatriation from Britain to Australia in 1945, documents erroneously constructed after a 28 day solitary-detention-without-charge. This overall alternate history of Mr McClelland's service record was used by doctors to claim he was mentally ill, a "paranoid schizophrenic".

Faced with the choice of spending the rest of his life in a metal institution for telling the truth, or exile, he chose the latter (in Britain and Greece). Mr. McClelland's fight for justice began, justice for himself and for other Australians who were detained in the concentration camps. Group Captain "Wings" Day, legendary British prisoner of war (he was the senior British officer for all RAF survivors in Germany), and British Member of Parliament Airey Neave, accepted and proved his story and worked on his behalf, even assisting in the formation of The Small Fortress Association for former prisoners of war in the Gestapo's notorious prison. Not until 1988 did Australia's Department of Veteran's Affairs admit Mr. McClelland had been in The Small Fortress. He was paid $10,000 compensation.

Mr. McClelland should have looked forward to a quiet retirement. It was not to be. Those who had offered to help him uncover the truth about the inprisonment of Australians in the concentration camps, had set up another agenda - to "Australianise the Holocaust" with a gruesome atrocity story.


In 1985, a documentary made by a prominant Australian journalist and a well-known director and producer, "Where Death Wears a Smile", was broadcast first in Australia - and later, in other countries. It promised to recount the story of Australians in The Small Fortress. Unfortunately, this documentary falsified history. It was alleged that some forty Australians, British and New Zealand prisoners of war were massacred just outside Theresienstadt in late March or early April 1945.

"Where Death Wears a Smile" was also shown on German television in the late 1980s. A noted German journalist, Jurgen Corleis, who wrote the script for the historical film shown to visitors at Belsen concentration camp, edited the documentary for German viewers. Indeed, Corleis had worked on the documentary itself and had his doubts as to the massacre claim, although it was not until 2004 that he and McClelland finally compared notes in Sydney.

The documentary as aired in Australia, had created a media sensation. A particularly sadistic guard, Stefan Rojko, was named as the main killer. Quite rightly, many Australians were incensed that such a crime had remained undetected. However, McClelland suspected the worst: the story was wrong and even the producers must have doubted it. From the proceeds of a special war pension, known in Australia as a 'Totally and Permanently Incapacitated' pension, Mr McClelland has funded his long-running campaign in his war for the whole truth about The Small Fortress. He has spent $600,000 (in current prices) from 1975 to 2004 to research the story of Australia's forgotten prisoners, both in his book "The Answer: Justice" and by other strident means. His expenditures continued after 1985, focused to overcome the massacre story.

To right this defamation of Australian military history was no simple matter. McClelland has caused a number of articles to appear over the years in the Australian press, each containing fragments of information disputing the massacre story, but these gems of truth often came out with the consequent rejoinders from the producers of "Where Death Wears a Smile". The producers of the film refused to back down. There was still no finality.

In 2003, Mr McClelland decided to act decisively: "When confronted with fraud, one must demolish it scientifically. I decided to systematise the evidence, uncover any new evidence and get something written which would lay this falsehood to rest. It's for my mates who never returned from that war, that I believe in setting down the truth regardless of what it might be."

In 2003-04, McClelland commissioned the research of an historical article, now available on the internet. It comfortably demolishes the massacre story. This article can be found at: or

One curious aspect of the documentary was it's serious misuse of the German war crimes office in the State Prosecution's office in Dortmund. This was a brazen thing. By means of tricky editing, the Australian producers were armed with comments by Hermann Weissing, a former leading prosecutor in that office, seemingly offering "agreement" with their massacre hypothesis.

The misquotation of the German public official is a serious defamation. The misuse of his office to inflame old enmities is a blot on contemporary Australian-German relations. It was, in the opinion of Mr McClelland "an un-Australian act". The proofs of the editing are also available to legitimate researchers.

There was further irony in the misuse of the German war crimes office. In 2000, the German green politician, Brigitte Schumann, stated that the war crimes prosecutor, Klaus Schlacht, should be dealt with for failing to be energetic in pursuing Nazi war criminals. Yet, it was Schlacht, who in 1988, provided McClelland with crucial documents to prove the massacre story false.

Specifically, Schlacht gave him the three affidavits of the man who falsely swore to the massacre story first in 1961, the only "witness" to the alleged crime. Hitherto, the producers of the massacre-story documentary had led McClelland (and the general public) to believe there was one affidavit. The contradictions in these documents - alone - rendered the story suspect. As Mc Clelland tells it: "In my view, Schlacht was a truthful man of principle. He gave me the key to unlocking the truth back in 1988".

Hence it was the German war crimes office which produced the first ray of hard evidence which would let the history of Australians at war rest more peaceably. And ultimately, it was forgotten files of British war crimes investigators in 1945, silent witnesses locked away in the British National Archives, which showed the massacre never occured. These unimpeachable records showed that the witness who quoted with great enthusiasm in "Where Death Wears a Smile", had almost certainly (and courtesy of the communist authorities in the former Czechoslovakia) manufactured his story by using actual accounts by British soldiers of the murders of a couple of Jewish prisoners at Theresienstadt, to fabricate the circumstances for a massacre story.

Alexander McClelland knows he was lied to when he went to war in 1939. The presentation of early war propaganda in Australia which he heard from the local church pulpit, namely that Nazism was a war on God and all religion, was ultimately revealed as - absurd. "After all, the German army belt-buckle motto in two world wars was 'Gott Mitt Uns'", he said. "Hate of Germans was peddled too", but as Mr McClelland puts it, his life "was saved four times by Germans. Once I remember a Christian family in the Sudetenland, pulling me unconcious from the snow. Without their care I would have died. I learnt to differentiate between governments and peoples", McClelland realised. Lies and war go hand in hand - such as the lies about Iraq coming out of the Unites States, something German public opinion is well aware of. "The Nazi state was responsible for certain war crimes, without two Australians inventing two more - for some ulterior and propagandistic purpose", Mr McClelland sadly reasons.

Given the award for the Best Political Documentary at the New York Television and Film Festival in 1985, the producers now have 'reputations' to defend. Two letters sent to the Prime Minister in 1996 and 1997 about this fraud on Australian war history have been ignored. But Mr McClelland intends to carry this last fight for historical justice - through to victory. As things now stand, he is winning this final battle.



ANZAC Freemen In Europe
Gives more on Mr McLelland.


Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP key. 

Updated  on  Wednesday, 18 July 2012 18:38:55