From Chişinău to Bălţi via Transnistria

On 2 March our little group continued the road trip through the Republic of Moldova. We headed east, crossed the Russian checkpoint near Dubăsari, and entered the internationally not recognized break away “republic” of Transnistria – rarely visited by western travelers. On our itinerary were Dubăsari and Raşcov before we crossed the “border” again to see the Jewish cemetery of Vadul Raşcov.

Continue reading

From Mohyliv-Podilskyi to Ivano-Frankivsk

May 24 was the longest day of our journey. 400 kilometers on Ukrainian roads can be challenging for drivers and passengers but we were glad to find the roads in much better condition than expected. Our route included the impressive Jewish cemetery of Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Khotyn fortress and Jewish heritage sites in Buchach and Chortkiv. Originally not planned was a stop in Kamianets-Podilskyi – one of the largest mass killing sites from the time of the German occupation.

Continue reading

Just a Forest

A new journey through Ukraine has begun. From tomorrow on Marla, Jay, Vasyl and I will be on the road to and through Transcarpathia. Today we had a first excursion from Lviv to the neighboring village of Lysynychi, one of the biggest mass killing sites in Ukraine and one of the most unknown. Estimated 90,000 people have been murdered here during the German occupation in World War 2 – mainly Jews but also Ukrainians, Poles and thousands of Italian soldiers. Except of a little memorial there are no visible traces of the crime. To visitors with no background information Lysynychi forest looks just like an ordinary forest.

Continue reading

At low Light

Yesterday, it was raining all day long when my friends and I returned to Lviv. En route were the towns of Turka, Khyriv, Ralivka and Mykolaiv. I also took the opportunity to photograph the synagogues in Sambir and Staryi Sambir under different light conditions.

Continue reading

Mapping the Unknown

A new journey has begun. During the next days, I will travel with my friends Marla, Jay and Vasyl in Ukraine again. A journey that will bring us to places widely unknown to many. How complete is our “inner map”? And how complete is our map of murderous actions in the 20th century? One of the missing spots is the site of Janowska concentration camp in a suburb of Lviv.

Continue reading

Mizoch and the Emptiness

Mizoch (Mizocz) is a small town in Volhynia. The population was composed of Ukrainians, Poles and Jews – until World War II. The scars of the past are still visible in Mizoch; the town’s center remained half empty until the present day.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Return to Transnistria

Our journey to Ukraine and Moldova goes on. The wish of my friend Sylvia to visit Bessarabia gave me a good pretext to return to Chişinău (Kishinev). While our friends Marla and Jay returned to Lviv yesterday, Sylvia and I took the bus to the Moldovan capital. Today we were out for a long day trip to Transnistria, a break-away ‘state’, only aknowledged by Russia. We visited Dubăsari (Dubasari), Raşcov (Rashkov) and Rîbniţa (Rybnitsa).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Of traveling in Moldova, Jewish cemeteries, vanished worlds and photographs

Usually Christian is the author if this blog. Recently he gave me the opportunity to write about my impressions of the journey we just had together in Moldova. I am thankful to have a place to publish my thoughts.

Continue reading