Return to Trochenbrod

Sylvia, Katharina, our wonderful driver Vasyl and I have just returned from Trochenbrod (Trachimbrod). It was a long day trip to a place that has completely disappeared. An all-Jewish town which was wiped out in the Holocaust and resurrected as literature in the novel “Everything Is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer.

I have already been to Trochenbrod in December last year and will therefore not repeat my general thoughts in this post. Nevertheless, maybe this: It makes a big difference if you visit the place in January or June. Snow and cloudy weather give an impression of seriousness which corresponds to the history of the place. Today was a bright summer day. In the forest we heard a cuckoo calling and along the way were the traces of beavers – cut trees. The beauty of nature lies over the horrors of the past.

On the way to Trochenbrod we made a stop in Zhovkva – a place with traces of a rich Jewish past. It includes the remnants of Jewish home blessings which are still visible on some door frames, a great old synagogue and a destroyed cemetery, which is a market today. Sylvia and I have been asking ourselves repeatedly how to photograph the absence of something. Zhovkva and Trochenbrod may offer possible answers.

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2 thoughts on “Return to Trochenbrod

  1. How can you photograph a “Vanished World”, Christian? you leave it to your reader’s imagination and the lone picture in the open field of ONE person only does convey the meaning. The destruction is absolute. That was Hitler’s “solution” not for cities but a whole people, he did his best there!!

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