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.
Hanukkah and Christmas are coming closer – a time of gifts in which I would like to give a present to all who accompanied my trips through Eastern Europe’s Jewish past and present. A calendar for 2017 with some of my photos is out now for free download. You may produce it on your own printer or at an on-line store of your choice. The calendar consits of photos from Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine, Moldova, Poland and Romania. Enjoy and have a great 2017!
Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul-Rashkov) in Bessarabia is one of the most impressive Jewish cemeteries I have ever seen. There are a few hundred, if not a few thousand gravestones, located on a hill sloping to the banks of river Dniester. This is borderland – in many aspects.
My first photo exhibitions about the Jewish heritage in Eastern Europe consisted of black and white images. To me black and white is connected to memory and commemoration – maybe because the photos of my childhood are in black and white, but also because most of the historical material preserved is in black and white. My interest in colour photography rose when I understood that heritage sites not only have a past, but also have a present. Synagogues are part of present urban space, a trace of a mezuzah is still visible, farmers let their animals graze in old cemeteries. But also absence is part of the present: cemeteries became markets, whole towns vanished. Having a good part of work already done, it’s a good moment to reflect some of the topics of the new exhibition, which will be shown by the end of January next year for the first time.
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.
The work of the past few weeks has come to a temporary end. Here are the last of the analog black and white photos of the trip to Bessarabia/Moldova in March and April. Among them are images of Jewish cemeteries in Briceni, Lipcani and Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul Rashkov). While it is the quality of stone carvings that is impressing in Lipcani, it is the unique combination of the cemetery and the environment at river Dniester in Vadul-Raşcov.
Now I have to decide which images I want to rework and print for future exhibitions. Not an easy decision. What are your favorites?
Here is the next selection of analog black and white photos from the trip to Bessarabia/Moldova in spring 2016. I’m glad to have time to work on the images, without interruptions by further journeys. This set contains pictures of Jewish heritage sites in Alexandreni, Bălţi (Beltsy), Lipcani, Orhei, Otaci (Ataki), Rybnitsa and Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul Rashkov). As many Moldovan towns and cities have been fully destroyed in World War II, the cemeteries are often the last voices of the Jewish history.
I continued to work on the analog black and white images of the trip to Bessarabia/Moldova in March/April. Here is the result, including photos of Jewish heritage sites in Orhei, Otaci (Ataki), Prodănești (Prodaneshty), Raşcov (Rashkov), Rezina, Soroca and Zguriţa (Zguritsa). More is coming.
About two weeks ago I received the scans of the films I shot during the trip to Bessarabia/Moldova in March and April. Since then I spend most of my evenings with going through the images, select those of which I think they are worth to work on, and to correct them. A quite time consuming but also satisfying work. Here is now a very first selection of images from Chişinău, Făleşti, Tirgul Vertiujeni, Mărculeşti, Călăraşi in Moldova and Mohyliv-Podilskyi in Ukraine. More is going to come during the next weeks.
Finally I found time to work on the analog black and white images of the trip to Riga in February. Here are some of them: the remains of the Choral Synagogue, the Altneie Shul, the former Jewish craftsmen school and the Seilen Shul. All synagogues represented in the photos were burned down in July 1941 – often with people burned alive – and serve different purposes today.