Plans For June

From June 5 to 15 I will travel in Ukraine again. Together with my friend Sylvia de Swaan I will thereby explore an area that is unknown to most people. However, those who have heard of Transnistria, think of the place with horror.

Travel locations in Transnistria

Travel locations in Transnistria

1. Bratslav, 2. Tulchyn, 3. Cariera de Piatra, 4. Mykhailivka, 5. Chernivtsi, 6. Mogilev Podilskyi

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Ghostlike Appearences

Portraits of the deceased on gravestones do actually not exist in Jewish tradition. It is a custom that is common in Christian cemeteries in many European countries and was adopted since the interwar period. The Jewish cemetery of Czernowitz (Chernivtsi) is particularly rich in such portraits.

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All the way back

On April 18, my friends and I came back home from our trip to Bukovina. What happened between the last blog post on April 15, and our return, I still have to report. At the end of this journey I also have to thank some people – my friends Petra and Achim and my virtual fellow travelers who have commented, offered advice and shared memories. We’ll meet again – on the next trip!

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Some progress in Czernowitz

It was a gray day in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) today. For three hours I went for a walk in the Jewish cemetery – a place which speaks about one and a half centuries of life of one of the most important Jewish communities in eastern Europe. There is good news to report, the situation has improved since my visit last summer. Most of the ways and pathes are cleared and accessible. Large parts of the cemetery have been cleaned – and this was done very thorough and sustainable. The various initiatives to maintain the cemetery finally have an effect. But now the destructions of the past are getting visible. A new challenge.

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Return to Czernowitz

In the morning we gave back our rental car and left Southern Bukovina and Romania by bus. Since some hours we are now in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) in Ukraine. It was a day without any particular discoveries, which would be worth to report here. Arriving in Czernowitz after so many returns is like coming home. With my friends Petra and Achim I had a walk through the historic city center and like every time we were charmed by the beauty of the place.

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Further East

On the way back to Suceava, we took another excursion to the east into the Bukovina adjoining Botoșani county. Botoșani and Bucecea and the traces of Jewish heritage in both places were our destinations.

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North of Radautz

Siret is a small town north of Radautz; from there we went on to Mihaileni and Dorohoi. Both places are no longer in Bukovina, but already in the neighboring Botoșani county. The traces of Jewish life are easy to find in all three places.

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Radautz and Surroundings

The Jewish cemetery of Rădăuţi (Radautz) was one of the highlights of our trip so far – one of the most impressive cemeteries I’ve ever seen. South of Radautz are Solca and Arbore. In both villages are Jewish cemeteries. We visited them today.

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From Vatra Dornei to Rădăuţi

A great pass road crosses the Carpathians from Vatra Dornei to Rădăuţi (Radautz). On our way down to the flatlands we visited the Christian cemetery of Fundu Moldovei to honor Traian Popovici, the Jewish cemetery of Moldoviţa and two of the famous Moldavian monasteries.

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Glamour and Simplicity

Vatra Dornei is an old spa in the middle of the Carpathians. The traces of its glamourous past are still visible. This includes a magnificent synagogue. A colorful contrast is the surrounding countryside with its wild mountains. In Cârlibaba we visited a particularly poignant small Jewish cemetery.

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