Ukraine between Past and Future – A Travel Report

Ukraine between Past and Future - A travel reportZurich Lab, a Swiss based institute that wants “psychoanalysis to meet the streets”, has published an essay of mine about my Ukraine trip in February. I am aware that some of the theses in the essay are controversial for some readers. However, I believe there are necessary discussions about history, remembrance and identity. Without it there is no self-confident future – just conspiracy theories.

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At the End of the Journey

My last day in Ukraine. Again, this day fluctuates between past and present. I visit the last remaining functioning synagogue in Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow) and experience the grief of the people for those slained on Maidan.

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Return to Lviv

My trip is coming to an end. This morning I strolled with a group of architecture students through Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), now I ‘m after a few hours on the train already back in Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow). Ukrainians continue to mourn those killed on Maidan.

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A last Excursion

When I asked Mykola Kushnir, the director of the Jewish Museum in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), how I could see the wall paintings in the former synagogue of Novoselitsa, he invited me spontaneously to go there with him today. A really nice and generous offer – especially as Mykola has the key to the synagogue. Thanks, Mykola, for this wonderful excursion – the last on this journey!

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Between Past and Present

The second day in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz): I continue to swing between the past and present of the city, between the remains of the Jewish past and the ongoing protests.

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Back in Czernowitz

Almost five hours my little marshrutka needed to make the way from Ternopil to Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). The reason is not the distance (175 km) but the conditions of Ukrainian roads. It’s nice to be back in Czernowitz, it’s almost like coming home. Here too, the protest movement is active.

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At the foot of the Carpathian Mountains

Another long day trip through Galicia. My friend Jürgen and I are up early to make our way to the train station and take the next marshrutka to Staryi Sambir – a place 90 km southwest of Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow).

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North of Lviv

A long day trip through Galicia – north of Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow) – to the towns of Sokal, Velyki Mosty and Zhovkva. Bright sunshine, the winter is coming to an end. We pass a down going industrial landscape, traces of the past and the dawn of a new, still undetermined Ukraine.

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Back in a different Ukraine

I’m back in Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow), and in front of me is another 10-day journey through Western Ukraine. Even though almost everything is superficialy unchanged since last year, I return in a completely different Ukraine.

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