Kos – a Jewish community in the Aegean Sea

The Corona pandemic has changed my life – like that of many others. I worked from home for over half a year. What hit me hardest: I couldn’t travel. In the first half of October, however, a time window opened up. I traveled to Greece with two friends – first to Athens, then on to the island of Nisyros. On the way back we had half a day to explore Kos – once the home of a Jewish community.

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And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house

Finding the trace of a mezuzah – a Jewish home blessing – is always a touching moment. The trace is a direct link to the former residents. The people are gone and with them the mezuzah. But the traces remain.

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There is still a lot to tell

Galicia, Kyiv, Greece and some exhibitions. There is still a lot to tell about the past year. The forced break caused by the corona virus gives me the opportunity to do it.

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From Kolomyia eastwards and back to Lviv

My friends and I continued our trip through Galicia in Ukraine on February 23. We started our day in Kolomyia and headed east to Horodenka and then towards Zolotyi Potik. Jewish heritage sites in Hvizdets, Chernelytsia, Zabolotiv and Obertyn were along the way.

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From Lviv to Kolomyia

Last weekend my friends and I traveled through Galicia in Ukraine again – this time south of Lviv. The first day of the trip took us to Kolomyia. Along the way were Jewish cemeteries in Mykulychyn, Lanchyn, Pechenizhyn, Yabluniv and Zabolotiv.

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Towards the Carpathian Mountains

During the carnival, I fled my hometown Cologne for a week and traveled to Ukraine. For three days, I was on the road with friends. On February 20, our route led us to Medenychi, Opory, Rivne (Königsau), Skole, Lysiatychi, Lavochne and Rozhniativ.

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Vanished World 2020 Calendar For Free Download

It’s already December and with all its holidays this month is for many of us a time of gifts. I would like to give a present to all who accompanied my trips through Eastern Europe’s Jewish past and present – either in person or by following my experiences through the Vanished World blog or social media. A calendar for 2020 with some of my photos is now available for free download. It is mainly based on the images I exhibited in 2019 in Kyiv and Cologne. Some were taken in Ukraine – Galicia and Podolia – others in Belarus. You may produce the calendar on your own printer or at an on-line shop of your choice. Enjoy and have a great 2020!

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Nothingness and a Ray of Hope

Trochenbrod is internationally known due to Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel “Everything is illuminated” and its Hollywood adaption. Like in the novel, nothing is left of this former all-Jewish town. My friends and I were out there for an excursion on 22 June. On the way back to Lviv we had stops in Lutsk, Stoyaniv and Radekhiv. If you are depressed by the nothingness of Trochenbrod, in Radekhiv you can find a ray of hope.

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The talking stones of Regensburg

Despite its destruction in 1519, the traces of Regensburg’s medieval Jewish community are still there. They can be found along the streets and backyards: tombstones of the Jewish cemetery.

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