In Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg) are the remains of the most famous and oldest synagogue in the territory of Ukraine, the “Golden Rose”. Of the approximately 70 synagogues in the city only two more have survived the German occupation, almost every guidebook mentions them. Virtually unknown, however, is a prayer room which is hidden in a basement.
Through my friend Renata Hanynets I became aware of an article by Tomasz Jankowski and Vladyslava Moskalets, in which they describe a “forgotten synagogue” in Lviv. With Renata’s help, I’ve been there today.
The prayer room – its wall paintings probably date from the interwar period – is accessible from a backyard. Stairs lead down to the basement. No one would expect something special here. When Renata switsches on the light, I see two lions holding the tablets of the Law at the ceiling. A Ping pong table is here, spare parts and a bicycle are hanging on the wall. The backgrounds of this place historians have yet to explore. Thank you, Renata, for your help!
As I write this, I’m already back in Germany. From Lviv to Cologne you get faster, as from Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) to Lviv. But my soul is still traveling somewhere in Galicia and Bukovina with the marshrutka back and forth and tries to avoid potholes.
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