3 March, the last day of the road trip through Lithuania. Yuliya and I made our way back to Vilnius. Finally, a grey sky and no more sunshine. Maybe the clouds will protect my friends in Ukraine from the Russian bombings, I thought. Probably that’s nonsense. But I couldn’t fight this thought. Our route today was not as long as in the last few days. Synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Vabalninkas, Kupiškis, Anykščiai, Kurkliai, Alanta and Moletai were on our way.
Author Archives: Christian Herrmann
From Panevėžys to Biržai
2 March, day 4 of the journey through Lithuania, day 7 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. Yuliya and I continued our journey. We headed northwest, close to the border with Latvia. On our route were Jewish memorial sites in Krekenava, Pušalotas, Pumpėnai and, of course, Panevėžys and Biržai.
From Kaunas to Panevėžys
1st of March, day 3 of our journey through Lithuania, day 6 of the Russian war against Ukraine. Yuliya and I kept looking at our smartphones, checking news sites, trying to keep in touch with our friends in Ukraine. The day started with a long walk through Jewish Kaunas. Then we drove on to Panevėžys via Jonava, Ukmergė, Šėta and Kėdainiai.
From Vilnius to Kaunas
On the morning of 28 February, my friend Yuliya and I set off early. Synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Moluvėnai, Vievis, Žasliai, Kaišiadorys and Žiežmariai were on our way until we reached Kaunas in the evening, the second largest city in Lithuania and the first capital after independence in 1918.
From 26 February to 5 March, I was travelling in Lithuania with my friend Yuliya. Yuliya, who comes from Belarus, lives in Vilnius in exile. On 24 February, Russia attacked Ukraine. Although I did what I always do on such trips – photograph the traces of Jewish life – we found it difficult to focus on our subject. Nonstop, we followed the news, tried to distinguish what was credible and what was not, and tried to stay in touch with our friends in Ukraine and Belarus. Nevertheless, I would like to share this journey with you. On 27 February, we walked through Vilnius.
Vanished World 2022 Calendar For Free Download
2021 was not an easy year. The pandemic continues to have a firm grip on us and for me it was also a year of personal losses. Travelling remains difficult and is risky. But all these difficulties and losses make me look at the topic of giving with a changed perspective. Many people have given to me in the past year. They have stood by my side when I needed them. They have given me comfort or simply held my hand when there were no more words. Now it is my turn to give something. The Vanished World calendar for 2022 is now available for download and can be printed at will. The subject for 2022 is Jewish heritage in Ukraine and is largely based on a trip I undertook in August and September 2021 – one of the few trips that were possible at all last year. Have a great 2022, stay safe and healthy!
To Chernivtsi and back to Lviv
The last part of my journey with the German TV team began on 30 August in Mohyliv-Podilskyi, took us on to Chernivtsi – finally a reunion with one of my favourite places! – and back to Lviv. On the way back, we made short stops in Halych and Burshtyn.
Death of the Shtetl?
Sharhorod and Chernivtsi (not Chernivtsi in Bukovina) were typical Podolian shtetls. Even after the war, there were still substantial Jewish communities, because both places were part of the Romanian occupation zone “Transnistria”, where the chances of survival were higher than in the German “Reichskommissariat Ukraine” or the “Generalgouvernemant”. After 1991, most of the Jews left the successor states of the Soviet Union. What remained behind is their material legacy. Soon, in Sharhorod and Chernivtsi there may not much be left of that.
From Galicia to Podolia
On the morning of 27 August, the TV crew and I left Ternopil for the south-east. The journey of the next two days would take us to Skalat, Hrymailiv, Husiatyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Shatava and Dunaivtsi. Some of these places were unfamiliar terrain even for me.
First Days on the Road
On 25 August, the TV crew and I left Lviv. It was the beginning of a 10-day journey that would take us in a wide loop through Galicia, Podolia and Bukovina. Brody, Pochaiv and Zbarazh were on the agenda for the first two days.