Construction of huts in Opole ghetto

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This is a picture of the construction of huts in Opole ghetto, Poland, which my father had taken by a local Jewish photographer in 1941.

My parents, Wilhem and Johanna Schischa [nee Friedmann], were deported to Opole ghetto in Poland from Vienna on 26th February 1941. They were murdered a year later in either Belzec or Sobibor concentration camp.

About 4,000 people lived in the Polish village of Opole, which became a ghetto. By March 1941 about 8,000 more Jews had been deported to the ghetto. They were either lodged with resident Jewish families, or in mass accommodation, such as in a synagogue or in newly erected huts.

I own a large number of letters, which my parents wrote to Aunt Fany, Aunt Berta and my grandmother from the ghetto before they were murdered. Apart from these letters, my father also sent photos from Opole ghetto. Opole was a village that had been sealed off. Jews who lived there weren't allowed to leave, and more and more Jews arrived. There were a bakery, a butcher's shop, a barber's shop, restaurants and a photo shop, just like in any normal village. However, nothing could be brought into the ghetto, so food soon became extremely expensive, and my parents' depended on help from their relatives in Vienna.

The last letter from my father arrived in December 1941. In Mai 1942 a deportation transport left from Opole to Belzec concentration camp, and in October for Sobibor concentration camp. I don?t know on board which transport my parents were.

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Interviewee

Lilli Tauber

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