The first European transport of Jews left the Ostrava Main Station 78 years ago. It headed for Nisko in the eastern part of Poland. Jews from Ostrava were sent to built a camp there. They had to pay for the material and even for the SS troops that guarded them. A thousand men left. Only a handful of them survived Nisko and other camps.
For the Nazis, it was the first experience with transports. They summoned Jews from Ostrava and its surroundings to the Ostrava riding arena on 17 October 1939. They searched them and confiscated all their valuables. Buses then brought them to the train station. The next morning they left Ostrava on a train and travelled through Bohumín, Oświęcim and Krakow to Nisko.
According to available sources, in 1930, the Jewish community in Ostrava numbered 9,804 members out of about 125,000 Ostrava citizens. After the war, only about 500 Jews who survived the Nazi frenzy returned to Ostrava, but the vast majority of them eventually emigrated to the State of Israel.