A long Way back to Lviv

If you travel in Galicia, you are crossing a continent. The region is a compaction of European history. Leaving Chortkiv in the morning, Marla, Jay, Alex, Vasyl and I have been to Buchach, Monastyryska, Pidhaitsi and Peremyshliany today. A day of discoveries – pleasant and painful ones.

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In and around Chortkiv

Marla, Jay, Alex, Vasyl and I continued our journry through Galicia. Starting from Chortkiv, we have been to Kopychyntsi, Budaniv, Korolivka and Tovste. Also today, we saw a lot of partly or fully destroyed Jewish heritage sites. But we also saw some rays of light.

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Between Lviv and Ternopil

Today was the first day of a new trip through Galicia with my friends Marla, Jay, Alex and Vasyl. On our way to Ternopil we stopped in the towns of Bibrka, Rohatyn, Berezhany and Kosova to visit its Jewish heritage sites. As different as those towns are, as different is what is preserved there.

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Snow covered Cemeteries

Winterly Galicia looks beautiful. But iced roads can be dangerous and a cold wind was blowing today, when I was out with friend and driver Vasyl to visit the Jewish cemeteries in Shchyrets, Rozdil and Mykolaiv. We discovered some real masterpieces of stone carving.

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Inside Jakob Glanzer Shul

Jakob Glanzer Shul is one of the last remaining synagogues in Lviv. The building is in bad condition; an adjuncting wall already collapsed. Since years a young man fights for the preservation of the synagogue. I met him today.

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Old Lviv

Many visitors think, the old town is Lviv’s oldest part. It is not. Duke Danilo built his settlement and castle on a hill north of the present old town and named it after his son Lev. Today it is a quarter around the Old Market, where once Lviv’s reform synagogue stood – blown up during the German occupation.

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Some Summer Black and Whites

After working a lot on my colour photos I finally found time to return to the analogue black and whites. Here is a selection of images I took in August during the trip to Ukraine and Moldova. Represented are Jewish cemeteries in Chişinău (Kishinev), Orhei and Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul Rashkov) in Bessarabia/Moldova, cemeteries in Rîbniţa (Rybnitsa) and Raşcov (Rashkov) in the break away “state” of Transnistria, as well as the former synagogue of Sniatyn in Galicia, Ukraine.

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A last Galician excursion

Since today I’m back home, but I have still to report on our last excursion, which led us into the Ukrainian borderlands with Poland, to Velyki Mosty, Belz and Uhniv.

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Galicia from a train window

A last goodbye to the volunteers, who clear the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). A last farewell to Bukovina and its capital. In the afternoon Sylvia and I took the train from Chernivtsi to Lviv. For five and a half hours we watched the beautiful Galician landscape rolling by. Now we are in Lviv – exhausted but happy – and wait for a very last excursion tomorrow.

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Kosiv today

The volunteers of SVIT Ukraine, who clear the Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), were out for a day trip today. On the itinerary was among others the Galician town of Kosiv – famous for its local crafts market – and its Jewish cemetery. In the densely overgrown cemetery we met an old man who was mowing grass with a scythe. He had a story to tell.

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