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Escape from the ghetto

Escapes from the Oradea ghettos, while they were in existence in May and June 1944,

were few and far between. But one event stands out for its ingenuity, daring and

organisation. This is the creation of a “fake” typhus epidemic enabling at least 30

people to be moved to a derelict building called the “typhus hospital” inside the ghetto

from where they were able to escape, generally into Romania.


At least four of the people involved in the escape are alive today (in 2012) and

Asociatia Tikvah has both met and talked with these survivors in order to gather more

detail. Others no longer with us consigned their experience of the escape to interviews

and diaries.


Over the course of the next few months we will be carrying out further research to put

together the most comprehensive account of what occurred and to indicate which

people from Oradea and the wider community enabled this to happen.


We will be setting this out under the following sections:


The doctors involved and the master plan

 

The stories of individual escapees

 

Agi and Bela Zsolt (mother and step-father of Eva Heyman)

Dr Miksa Kupfer and family

The Steiner family

 

Those that helped the escape

 

The escape routes into and through Romania

 

Before we produce this complete story we have been helped enormously by prior

investigation by the researcher Dániel Lőwy who has taken a significant interest in the

Jewish histories of both Oradea and Cluj. Daniel Lowy produced a detailed summary of  

the escape which has kindly been translated into English from its original Hungarian by

Professor Ladislaus Lob. We are very grateful to them both for allowing us to

reproduce the English translation which can be seen by clicking on the star below.