The first transport from Prague (Praha) to Theresienstadt left on November 24, 1941. This transport was listed as an Aufbaukommando-AK(construction detail). It consisted of 342 able-bodied young Jewish males, selected by the Jewish community. They had been told their task was to prepare the infrastructure of Theresienstadt (which was to be cleared of its non-Jewish inhabitants) for the arrival of the subsequent transports. They assembled at the train station on Hybernska Street at 5:00 AM.
The members of the group were misled to believe they would be permitted to return to their homes on the weekend. In addition they were told that their wages would be transferred to their families in Prague, who would be exempted from future transports.
They arrived at the station in Bohusovice, a town located 3 kilometers from the fortress and were forced to march by foot to Theresiensatdt. Upon their arrival they were housed in the abandoned Sudten barracks. They spent the first few nights sleeping on the bare floor. The Germans did not supply any food and the deportees had to consume supplies they had brought along. They were also subjected to the abusive conduct of camp commander Karl Bergel.
This transport marked the beginning of mass deportations of Jews to Theresienstadt.
Excerpt from Peter Hecht's Testimony:
I reported to the Masaryk railway station on November 24, 1941 following a call from the Prague Jewish community. 358 people were assembled there. We knew we were going to Theresienstadt to found a city for Jews. I knew very well that the Jewish community followed orders of the Germans, as it had done previously, when five transports were sent to Poland. Today, I know that those transports arrived in Lodz. SS men were on board the train with us, one of them was Friedel, I remember his name because already in Prague he slapped me on the face [...]