Escapes from the Oradea ghettos, while they existed in May/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 two of the people involved in the escape are alive today (in 2019) 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.