This is a picture of my father, Wilhelm Schischa, and other people in Opole ghetto in Poland. My father had this picture taken by the local Jewish photographer in May 1941.
My parents, Wilhem and Johanna Schischa [nee Friedmann], were deported to Opole ghetto in Poland from Vienna on 26th February 1941 and died a year later in either Belzec or Sobibor concentration camp.
Money was short and it must have been very important to my father to spend it on photos in order to document the life of the 12,000 people living in the ghetto. The people on this picture, alongside with my parents, were later murdered in Belzec and Sobibor concentration camps.
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.