Deportations of Jews
First Deportations 1939
# »General Gouvernement«
Lodz ghetto
»Reichskommissariat Ostland«
»Operation Reinhard«
Flight, Emigration and Death
Demography 1938-1945

On 12 March 1941 a deportation transport left Vienna Aspang Station with 997 Jewish men, women and children on board for Opatow and Lagow, two neighbouring small towns 50 km east of Kielce.

A considerable proportion of Opatow's population was Jewish, and this rose even higher as a result of deportations and forced resettlement. Some of the deportees from Vienna were put up in mass accommodation in former stables, according to the testimony of witnesses, but they were allowed to keep their own clothing and during the day they could move freely about the town. There was no roll-call, and families were not broken up. The number of ghetto inhabitants was constantly rising, and in September 1942 there were about 7,000 people there. Many ghetto inmates died of malnutrition and typhoid.

From July 1941 the German police began to send young Jews capable of work to labor camps. They were deployed as forced laborers to build roads, or to work in the quarries and in a motor factory.

During the liquidation of the ghetto from 20 to 22 October 1942 the German police surrounded the ghetto, together with Ukrainian guards. 6000 inhabitants of the ghetto were loaded onto railway waggons and deported to Treblinka, while 500–600 Jews were taken to Sandomierz labor camp. Several hundred people were shot in the ghetto during the carrying out of this »program.« A few Jews remained after the liquidation, to clean the ghetto and to sort the personal possessions which had been left behind. They were later shot at the ghetto graveyard.

Conditions of life and events in Lagow corresponded in all probability with those in Opatow, but because of the inadequate state of the sources no more precise information is possible.

Of the 997 Austrian Jews who were deported on 12 March 1941 to Opatow and Lagow, only 11 survivors could be identified.


» click see larger image

Letter by Johanna Baumhorn to her daughter, Erna Horne.

Opatow and Lagow