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!

At most of the places, I had already been before. And as I don’t like to repeat myself, please make use of the tags below to learn more about these places. But I had never been to Skalat and Yuzhynets before and these places were therefore my personal highlights.

Skalat is mainly known for its magnificant castle. In the shadow of this imposing medieval structure the ruin of the former local synagogue is situated – a building from the inter-war periode, heavily sovietized, and now crumbling away.

The visit to Yuzhynets our group owes fellow traveler Heike. In this tiny village famous psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich spent his youth. The tragic death of his parents during that time, gave the kick to his vision of liberation of human sexuality, the foundation of Reich’s own direction and school of psychoanalysis and his contribution to our understanding of the human soul.

It was moving when the chorus of the local culture club welcomed us with beautiful Ukrainian folk songs when we asked for the location of the former property of the Reich family – and it was not less amazing when our group answered with a Germansong. Not much is left of what was once Wilhelm Reichs home. The original building was destroyed and a Soviet building was errected on the spot. But somehow we catched the spirit of the place. Rolling through the green hills of Bukovina we finally made it to Chernivtsi.

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5 thoughts on “From Lviv to Chernivtsi

  1. I do not know which is the more heartbreaking the state of the synagogues or the desecration of the tomb stones, not even dead Jews were allowed to rest in peace!

  2. Ich habe mich sehr gefreut, diesen Blog gefunden zu haben! Ich habe selber zwei Jahre zwischen Sataniv und Hrymajliv gewohnt und wir haben uns auch auf die Suche nach der Synagoge in Skalat gemacht. Weil wir nicht wussten, wo sie war, mussten wir die Einwohner danach fragen. Ich war geschockt, dass wirklich niemand sagen konnte, wo die ehemalige Synagoge steht. Wie dort im Krieg Juden umgebracht wurden, ist schrecklich und alles würde verdrängt und vergessen. Uns war wirklich schlecht danach aber es war trotzdem sehr beeindruckend, in einer Ruine zu stehen und zu wissen, wie dort noch vor 80 Jahren das Leben blühte.
    Es ist grundsätzlich so in Galizien, dass dort sehr viele Juden wohnten und heute findet man kaum welche mehr. In jeder Ortschaft findet man einen Friedhof und/ oder eine ehem. Synagoge.
    In unserem Ort Terebowlya ist die Synagoge übrigens mittlerweile eine Sporthalle.
    Erschreckend ist der immer noch vorhandene Antisemitismus in der Ukraine…

  3. I have lived in this area for 2 years and I have been in Skalat.
    We didn’t know where the synagogue was so we asked some inhabitants of that little town, but nobody could tell us the place.
    When we showed them photos they suddenly remembered that the ruins were on the marketplace.
    It’s shocking what happened there during WWII, but there was nobody who knew about it.
    There was half a page on the Holocaust in my Ukrainian history book and only two classmates knew that a synagogue is “like a church for Jews”. None of them knew where the former synagogue in our town Terebovlya was.
    Antisemitism is a big problem in Ukraine, which makes me really sad….
    It’s such a nice idea to make this blog thank you very much!!!!!
    A German student

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