From Bukovina to Bessarabia

Yesterday, we followed the traces of the Hasidic courts in Bukovina and neighbouring Galicia. We have been to the towns of Sadgora, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia – and the day before we saw how the renovation of the magnificent mortuary of Chernivtsi cemetery makes progress. Today, we went on to Bessarabia in the Republic of Moldova. Lipcani and Briceni were on our way to Bălţi, where we are right now. Now, in spring the Jewish cemeteries are beautiful enchanted gardens. Here are some photo impressions.

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Exploring Chernivtsi with Friends and Volunteers

Both, SVIT Ukraine and Action Reconciliation for Peace have started their annual clean-up in the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). Despite the hot weather the volunteers bravely remove the rampant vegetation of the cemetery. Being with them is a good pretext to stroll through the beautiful city.

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To Sadagora with the Volunteers

The volunteers of SVIT Ukraine continued their work in the Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) today. It is hard physical work and after a five hours work-day all were exhausted. But the work-camp is not only about work; it is also about experiencing the multi-ethnic past and present of Bukovina. Today we went to Sadagora – once an important Hasidic court.

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Meeting the volunteers

Today I have met the volunteers of SVIT Ukraine who work in the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), to clear it of rampant vegetation. It is a miracle that this workcamp takes place. Many people are afraid to come to Ukraine because of the war in the east of the country. And SVIT faced big challenges. The organization has its headquarters in Artemovsk, which was temporarily occupied by “separatists”. The infrastructure had to be moved to Kharkiv, bank accounts registered in Artemovsk were temporarily closed. The by Russia stirred up war has an impact on Ukrainian civil society and on the opportunities of young people for international exchange.

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A Church and a Synagogue come to Life again

Our penultimate day in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). I show my friends Ingo and Sabine the upper part of the city, which they do not know yet. We make interesting discoveries at the Sacred Heart Church (Herz Jesu Kirche). In the afternoon we meet with the volunteers who work at the Jewish cemetery for a trip to Sadhora (Sadagora). There are good news from Sadagora.

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Galicia and Bukovina in Black and White (2)

Here it is, the second half of the selection of black and white photos from the trip through Galicia and Bukovina in April and May 2013. The journey finally comes to an end and something new starts.


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Silence in the Rabbi’s Residence

In 2006 I was for the first time in Sadagora (Sadhora in Ukrainian). Since then I have returned almost every year. The formerly independent community is now a suburb of Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) and was up to the Romanian and German occupation, the home of a Hasidic rabbinical dynasty and its followers. What remained is a cemetery, the synagogue of the rabbi of Sadagora and his residence. Do these spots of commemoration have a future?

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