The back of this photo is inscribed in Polish, "Bedzin in April 21, 1920 as an eternal keepsake, Fela." The photo was found at Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp of the Nazi regime. It is a reminder of a loving couple about whom we have no other information. Many of the people who were deported to Auschwitz brought photographs with them, precious reminders of home. Most of these photographs were destroyed by the Nazis.
In the 1930s nearly half the population of Bedzin was Jewish—about 21,000 people. The German army invaded Bedzin on September 5, 1939. Five days later the Great Synagogue and about 50 houses around it were burned down by anti-Semitic Poles and "Volksdeutsche" (Polish citizens of German descent). By late October the Jews of Bedzin had to surrender their radios. In November they had to pay a ransom in gold and silver and begin wearing a blue Star of David on their arms. Next Germans took over Jewish businesses and the finest homes. As of September 1941, the Jews had to wear a yellow badge and were forbidden to use public transportation. In May and June 1942, the first groups of Jewish people were deported from Bedzin and sent to their death at Auschwitz. The deportations continued throughout the war. We have no record of Fela's last name nor the name of her fiance.