On February 15, 1941, and February 26, 1941, two deportation transports with 2,003 Jewish men, women and children on board left Vienna Aspang Station bound for Opole, a small town south of Lublin. Opole had a long established Jewish community; when war broke out about 4,000 Jews lived here, i.e. about 70 percent of the population, a proportion which rose further after the beginning of the war, as Jews from other parts of Poland were forcefully resettled here.
By March 1941 about 8,000 Jews were deported to the ghetto which had been set up in Opole. The new arrivals were either lodged with resident Jewish families, or in mass accomodation, as for example in a synagogue or in newly erected huts.
In the ghetto itself no restriction was placed on the freedom of movement of the inmates, and there were no boundary lines, yet it was forbidden on the threat of severe punishment to leave Opole without official permission. Control of the ghetto was undertaken by the security service of the SS (SD), the Gendarmerie and also, as may be concluded from witnesses' testimony, by German army soldiers. The inhabitants of the ghetto were largely dependant on themselves as far as earning a living was concerned. From May 1941 about 800 men capable of work were deployed as forced labourers in Deblin.
The liquidation of Opole ghetto began as early as spring 1942. A transport to Belzec extermination camp left on March 31, 1942, and deportations to Sobibor followed in May and October 1942.
Of the 2,003 Viennese Jews 28 are known to have survived.