eilatgordinlevitan.com
Opsa
Opsa, Belarus
55°30' / 27°05'
and Miedziuki
Click on Photos to Enlarge

#opsa-1:

Picture of Opsa rail personnel: 1925. My grandfather Ludwik Umbras
on extreme left (face obscured, but body and stance recognised).
Donated by Antanina Bolshekova of Opsa in 2005, wife of the local
retired dentist.

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Bronislaw Umbras in the grounds of St John the Baptist church,
Opsa, circa mid-1930s.

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Picture donated by Vanda Pietkun (born Zloto near Braslaw, now
living in Paslek, Poland)
Opsa, home of Jewish family who were close friends to my father
Bronislaw Umbras.
Bronislaw Umbras (left), man in baker's outfit (may be C. Szneider,
man and wife and baby (may be the miller Szalno or the baker's
daughter/son/grandchild), Bronislaw's girlfriend, whose name no-one in
my remnant family around Braslaw remembers, but who died in Braslaw
around 2003. Taken at this family's home in Opsa, with ozero Opsa in
the background.

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View of ozero Opsa
Submitted by Terese Fehlberg umbras@iinet.net.au


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St John the Baptist church Opsa, 2005

 

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Opsa c 1930
Anna Ostrowska for more pictures go to; http://www.radzima.org/

pub/pomnik.php?nazva_id=vibropsa04
Anna Ostrowska

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Anna Ostrowska The school building from the 1930's
for more pictures go to http://www.radzima.org/pub/pomnik.

php?nazva_id=vibropsa04

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The Polish school in Opsa 1931
Anna Ostrowska for more pictures go to; http://www.radzima.org/pub/

pomnik.php?nazva_id=vibropsa04

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Created byTerese Fehlberg tuf@tpg.com.au and by Eilat Gordin Levitan

Opsa Necrology
http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Braslaw/bra481.html

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Opsa
A shtetl, boasting approximately 300 Jews, who were linked with Braslaw by commercial and familial ties. Opsa is first mentioned in the fifteenth century in a royal decree of the Polish king Alexander in which he ordered a special tax imposed on its pasture lands and on fishing rights in its nearby lakes. In certain respects its history and development strongly parallel those of Braslaw and other vishuvim. It too kept changing hands as a result of the continual feuding of its rulers. Records show that in 1790 Opsa's population totaled 130 souls, made up of seventeen Christian and two Jewish families. The year 1794 is a red-letter date in the history of Opsa. It is the year of the famous Kosciuszko revolt against Czarist might when a great battle in which close to 40,000 Polish rebels took part, was fought on its outskirts. Another fateful date was April 28, 1928 that fine spring Sabbath morning when a fire broke out, almost razing the entire shtetl to the ground. Yaakov Aviel describes it as follows:

I remember it as if it were only yesterday. The fire started in Baruch-Itse's house. The tongues of flame fanned by the spring breeze spread like wildfire, enfolding roof after roof, house after house. The church bells pealed ominously, then suddenly fell silent as the fire began to engulf the sacred building and the burning crosses and massive bells came crashing to the ground.

Opsa was again rebuilt but the fire was not forgotten. Interwoven into the fabric of the lives of its inhabitants it frequently served as a landmark. Thus they would say: "This still happened before the fire." Or "Do you remember the house before the fire?" Despite its small Jewish population of barely a few hundred souls, the communal and spiritual life of Opsa was multifaceted and replete with cultural activities, clubs, social circles, and political parties. It had two synagogues – a Chassidic and a Mitnaggid synagogue-cum house of study. The children attended "Cheder," a religious afternoon school, or studied in the Braslaw yeshiva (Torah academy)_ or in the Hebrew school Yavneh. The Betar was the predominant Zionist movement and attracted a large following among the youth. As in most Jewish shtetlach in the interwar period, the period engaged in business or plied trades. They were tailors, cobblers, tinkers, bankers, and so on. The Jews of Opsa, like those of Braslaw and environs, perished at the hands of the Nazis.