East of Lviv through Galicia

On Monday, it was the last opportunity to travel during my recent trip to Ukraine. My friends Marla, Jay, Vasyl and I decided for a route eastwards to the towns and villages of Holohory, Zolochiv, Sasiv, Pidhirtsi and Brody with its Jewish heritage sites. Back in Lviv we had a look at Jewish tombstones recently discovered during construction works. Summed up, it was a kaleidoscopic view of beauty and horror.

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En Route with the Volunteers of SVIT Ukraine

A cemetery clean-up is not only about work. Volunteers who joined SVIT Ukraine’s annual ‘workcamp’ to clean the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) also have the opportunity to learn about the multi-ethnic past and present of western Ukraine, make friends and have fun. Yesterday, we went for an excursion to Jewish heritage sites in Kosiv, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia – and had a pick-nick next to the scenic village of Sheshory.

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An Unresolved Riddle in Sniatyn

I have been to Sniatyn last year with friends to find the old and new Jewish cemetery of this Galician town. We believed to have found the new Jewish cemetery. According to old maps the old cemetery should be located directly next to the new one. Today I returned – but again I couldn’t find more traces. Who knows more?

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Zalishchyky’s Imposing Synagogue

Zalishchyky – picturesquely situated at a turn of Dniester River – had a glorious past as a resort. Some remains of a spa are still visible close to the river. Another reminder of the past is Zalishchyky’s synagogue – in the Soviet era transformed into a factory. Today, I took the opportunity to have a look on it.

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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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Time Traveling between Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi

Last Sunday, my friends and I continued our trip to Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). We had stops in Lysets, Bohorodchany, Nadvirna, Deliatyn, Kolomyia, Kosiv, Kuty and Vyzhnytsia to visit Jewish cemeteries, former synagogues, Hasidic courts and mass grave sites.

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On Galician Roads again

A new Jewish heritage trip to Galicia and Bukovina has begun. It was a long day for my friends Marla, Jay, Vasyl, my cousin Nana and me when we went from Lviv to Ivano-Frankivsk. In between were the towns of Zhydachiv, Stryi, Bolekhiv, Dolyna and Kalush with its synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. Some of them are beautifully preserved, others are fully gone.

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Five Days in Galicia in Black and White

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.

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Galician Diptychs

Images may create stories in one’s head – especially when they are arranged to pairs. Thanks to the rich photo material I was able to collect during the trip to Ukraine in April, I arranged some diptychs. They reflect the fate of the local Jewish communities, a genocide and the wipe out of history. But something is always left and speaks to us.

Former Jewish neighborhood of Pidhaitsi

Former Jewish neighborhood of Pidhaitsi

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“The Search for Traces” on Exhibit in Berlin

Since May 7, Stillpoint Spaces in Berlin’s district Neukölln hosts an exhibition of my analogue black and white photos. They document Jewish heritage sites in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Poland. The exhibition will be accessible until end of July. If you are around, come in!

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