A Summer in Black and White

I was traveling twice to Ukraine during this year’s summer – once in June with my friend Sylvia de Swaan, once in July to support the volunteers of SVIT Ukraine in their work in the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). It took an unusually long time to develop the black and white films of these two months, to scan them, make a selection and finally work them over. Now this has been completed, and here is a first selection.

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Bukovina in Black and White

So far 2015 was a busy year, four times I have been to Ukraine, once to Romania. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have traveled too much. For months I was not able to edit the black and white photos of my journeys properly. Now I’m happy to be home and finally have time to work on the photos. Here is a selection of black and white images of the journey through Bukovina in April.

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Through Bukovina and Galicia with the Volunteers

Meanwhile, I’m back home and still have to report the latest events of the recent journey. On Friday – our last day in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) – Arthur and I have been on a day trip through Bukovina and Galicia with the volunteers of SVIT Ukraine. Vashkivtsi, Vyzhnytsia (Wischnitz), Kuty and Kosiv were the places we went to.

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Through the window

Vikno is a Ukrainian village north of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), near the Dniester River. My friend Halyna originates from this village and yesterday she showed me the place of her childhood. With us were Halyna’s mother and our friends Tetyana and Sergey. Thank you friends!

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Hard-working volunteers, sleepy cats

It’s hot in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), every day over 30 degrees Celsius. The volunteers of SVIT Ukraine and Action Reconciliation start working in the Jewish cemetery early in the morning to escape the heat. Today they were lucky, in the morning it was cloudy, even some rain came down.

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Voices from the past

Yesterday, my friend Silke drew my attention to a sound installation that was designed by students of Chernivtsi University in the former Synagogengasse (Synagogue Alley, now Anri Barbyusa Street) of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). It brought voices of the past into the present of the city. Today, the volunteers of Action Reconciliation and SVIT Ukraine have begun their work in the Jewish cemetery.

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Finally in Czernowitz

It is already our third travel day. Arthur Rindner – an old time Czernowitzer – and I met on Friday at Vienna’s airport and flew to Lviv / Lemberg. Now we are already in Czernowitz and have met the international volunteer group that will work in the next two weeks in the Jewish cemetery.

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Two Lazy Days in Czernowitz

Sylvia and I were exhausted after our trip to Transnistria. In Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) – Sylvia’s native city – we took our chance to relax. We strolled through the streets, met friends, enjoyed the atmosphere of the city.

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Ghostlike Appearences

Portraits of the deceased on gravestones do actually not exist in Jewish tradition. It is a custom that is common in Christian cemeteries in many European countries and was adopted since the interwar period. The Jewish cemetery of Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) is particularly rich in such portraits.

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All the way back

On April 18, my friends and I came back home from our trip to Bukovina. What happened between the last blog post on April 15, and our return, I still have to report. At the end of this journey I also have to thank some people – my friends Petra and Achim and my virtual fellow travelers who have commented, offered advice and shared memories. We’ll meet again – on the next trip!

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