A short trip to Ukraine

Soroca is located in the border area with Ukraine. This has given us the opportunity to make a trip from Otaci to Mohyliv-Podilskyi today. The local Jewish cemetery is one of the most important witnesses of the past.

After ten days in Moldova we all – Petra, Achim and I – feel the exhaustion caused by our journey. Getting up in the morning is difficult, writing in the evening is even harder. Anyway, we did not come to Moldova in order to relax. Today we have been to Mohyliv-Podilskyi in Ukraine. Mohyliv is located opposite to Otaci, on the other bank of river Dniester, which forms a natural border between Moldova and Ukraine. It was nice to have been back in Ukraine, even if it was only a short stop. Last year I have been in Mohyliv with my friend Sylvia de Swaan and today I often thought of our journey in July, 2015.

In particular it was Achim’s desire to go to Mohyliv. Throughout our trip he read Edgar Hilsenrath’s novel “Night”, a book set in the ghetto of Mohyliv. However, from wartime Mohyliv little is preserved. Already at the beginning of the war, the town was largely destroyed and rebuilt after the war in Soviet style. The last site, which can tell about the past is the Jewish cemetery, which is located together with the Christian cemetery above the town. It is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the region. Tightly packed crowd obelisks, gravestones in the form of broken trees and conventional stelae.

Our journey is slowly coming to an end. Tomorrow we will go in a wide turn through the northwest of the country, and finally return to Bălţi (Beltsy).

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7 thoughts on “A short trip to Ukraine

  1. Dear Christian,
    I can’t thank you enough for this. I wish we could get all the names off of them, but there are so many! Somewhere in there is my mom’s mother’s family. It’s a big mitzvah. Vielen, vielen Dank!!!!!
    Jeanne Swack (family Spilkes, Satz, Treibich, Gass, Broker, etc. from Mogilev-Podolski)

  2. My 2nd great grandfather owned houses on Greek st. Right next to Otaci bridge. The property is described in great detail in the archives and it’s crazy to watch the location on Google images. Only the street outlines left! But in their ancestral shtettls of Verbovets and Murovany Kurilovtsy, time sort of stood still.

  3. My grandfather, LEON DRACH from Siret, Bukovina also died in Moghilev of typhus. It would be ineteresting to find his grave. Is there anyone who takes care of the graves? Probably not! We are three granddaughters of him- Lizi, Yehudit and I.

  4. Christian, thank you once more for the wonderful work you and your friends are doing by visiting and documenting the condition of these historic cemeteries. The exhaustion you are feeling is evident in your words and I hope all of you will soon have an opportunity to rest. Wishing you a safe journey the rest of the way.

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