The first day of our new trip. Marla, Jay, Vasyl and I left Lviv in the morning. We had a first stop in Drohobych, continued via Boryslav and Skhidnytsia, and finally arrived in Uzhhorod shortly before sundown. We found a beautiful church, two beit midrash (Jewish study houses) and one of the last surviving wooden synagogues of Ukraine.
It was a short trip of only five days in April when my friends Marla, Jay, Vasyl, Alex and I traveled in Lviv and Ternopil region in Galicia, Ukraine. An intense trip to explore what is left of the Jewish heritage. As always I had two cameras with me – a digital one for colour photographs and an analogue one for black and white. Analogue photography is a slow business, but finally here is now a selection of what I got: synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in the towns of Berezhany, Budaniv, Drohobych, Husiatyn, Korolivka, Monastyryska, Pidhaitsi and Sataniv.
I have been to Drohobych before. But Tanya Firman, who guided my friends Marla, Jay and me, made the visit special today. The Galician town had its golden age when oil was found there in the 19th and early 20th century. Much is still visible from that time – but also from the tragic end of Drohobych’s Jews.
On 18 February ‘A Story of Destruction and Rescue’, an exhibition documenting the Holocaust in the eastern Galician towns of Drohobych and Boryslav was opened in Cologne. The exhibition was created by an international team from Poland, Israel, Ukraine and Germany. It was already on display in several locations in Poland and Ukraine and will be shown in more places in Israel and Ukraine this summer. The Cologne exhibition will remain open to the public until 31 March.
Analog photography is not for the impatient. Through digital cameras we are used to check a picture directly. Images on film are different. Two weeks after the trip through Galicia and Bukovina I got the developed black and white films and the scans of the negatives. A first impression and a first selection.
May 4. A last day on the streets of Galicia. We visit the old synagogue of Stryi. But above all, we are in the footsteps of Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz in Drohobych. Then we return to Lviv. Our trip is close to its end.