On the Road to Chişinău

Yesterday, our group moved on through Bessarabia. In Bălţi we visited the magnificent Jewish cemetery and then went further south to the Moldovan capital of Chişinău. En route were the Jewish agricultural colony of Mărculeşti and Orhei with its imposing cemetery.

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From Bukovina to Bessarabia

Yesterday, we followed the traces of the Hasidic courts in Bukovina and neighbouring Galicia. We have been to the towns of Sadgora, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia – and the day before we saw how the renovation of the magnificent mortuary of Chernivtsi cemetery makes progress. Today, we went on to Bessarabia in the Republic of Moldova. Lipcani and Briceni were on our way to Bălţi, where we are right now. Now, in spring the Jewish cemeteries are beautiful enchanted gardens. Here are some photo impressions.

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From Lviv to Chernivtsi

Our journey through Galicia, Bukovina and Bessarabia goes on. During the last two days we went further south. Between the regional metropolises of Lviv and Chernivtsi we visited the towns and villages of Busk, Olesko, Brody, Skalat, Hrymailiv, Sataniv, Husiatyn, Chabarivka, Zalishchyky and Yuzhynets. What a trip!

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A new Experience

Today, a new journey to Jewish heritage sites has begun and it is different from all others before. I’m going to guide a group of 16 Germans through Galicia, Bukovina and Bessarabia in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. We started with day trips from Lviv – while one part of the group went to Drohobych and was guided there by the wonderful Tanya Firman, the other part went north to Zhovkva, Uhniv, Belz and Velyki Mosty.

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Transcarpathia is different

Yesterday was the last day of our 5 days trip through Transcarpathia. We visited Jewish and non-Jewish heritage sites in Bila Tserkva, Velykyi Bychkiv, Rakhiv, Yasynia, Halych and Bilshivtsi. On our way home we contemplated on what we saw and experienced. Transcarpathia differs in many aspects from Galicia.

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From the Flatlands to the Mountains

Our route lead us along the Romanian border today. We found Jewish heritage sites in Vynohradiv, Sasovo, Khust, Tiachiv, Teresva and Solotvyno – and beyond this the traces of literally collapsed industries and profitable smuggling activities.

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In the Borderlands to Hungary and Romania

Our Transcarpathia trip goes on. South of Mukachevo are towns and villages with traces of a rich Jewish heritage. Berehove is known for it, but we also found traces in Irshava, Velyki Komiaty, Khmilnyk, Siltse and Kamyanske – cemeteries and synagogues, and in Velyki Komiaty even the remains of a wooden synagogue.

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In Uzhhorod and Mukachevo

The damages to Jewish life are visible in the Transcarpathian towns of Uzhhorod and Mukachevo: synagogues used for other purposes than worship, a destroyed cemetery and the missing Jewish presence in public life due to mass deportation and extermination under Hungarian and German rule and later Sovietization. Nevertheless, there are rays of hope. In both towns we found functioning synagogues, active communities and well maintained cemeteries.

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A long Way through the Carpathians

The first day of our new trip. Marla, Jay, Vasyl and I left Lviv in the morning. We had a first stop in Drohobych, continued via Boryslav and Skhidnytsia, and finally arrived in Uzhhorod shortly before sundown. We found a beautiful church, two beit midrash (Jewish study houses) and one of the last surviving wooden synagogues of Ukraine.

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Just a Forest

A new journey through Ukraine has begun. From tomorrow on Marla, Jay, Vasyl and I will be on the road to and through Transcarpathia. Today we had a first excursion from Lviv to the neighboring village of Lysynychi, one of the biggest mass killing sites in Ukraine and one of the most unknown. Estimated 90,000 people have been murdered here during the German occupation in World War 2 – mainly Jews but also Ukrainians, Poles and thousands of Italian soldiers. Except of a little memorial there are no visible traces of the crime. To visitors with no background information Lysynychi forest looks just like an ordinary forest.

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