Memories of a lost childhood: the German occupation of Poland in World War II from the perspective of a Jewish child

Professor Józef Lipman was a child, when German troops occupied his hometown Boryslav (Boryslaw) in Eastern Galicia. Lipman is one of 150 survivors of the former Jewish community of Boryslaw which before the war had 18,000 members. In 2007, in a speech in Görlitz, Saxony, he described his experiences. Every line of it is worth reading – in order to never forget.

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A last day in Ukraine

It’s almost a tradition for me, to have a walk through Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg) on the last day of a trip. The place is always impressive. Because of its imposing tombs, but also because of the visible conflict between Poles and Ukrainians. Since a few hours I’m back home. But my mind is still in Ukraine.

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On the way to Lviv

The morning is gray and chilly when we leave Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). Light rain falls. Our train swings slowly towards Galicia. We are on the way to Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg), the first stop on our way home.

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Farewell Czernowitz!

Tomorrow we will leave for Lviv. Our last day in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) is also our most relaxing one. For the first time it is a day without obligations. One last day to stroll through the streets – almost without having to think about an appointment.

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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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Recently discovered Wall Paintings in the “Groisse Shil” of Czernowitz

With my friends Sabine and Ingo I am walking through the old Jewish quarter of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) today. One of the most important cultural monuments there is the “Groisse Shil”, a synagogue dating from the mid 19th Century. The building is now used as a carpenter’s workshop. Although the original purpose of the building is hardly to imagine from inside, fragments of the original ceiling paintings are still visible. I want to show them to my friends. What we discover is incredible: Recently uncovered wall paintings with motifs from the bible.

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A trip through Bucovina

Sunday is a free day for the volunteers who clear the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) of shrubs and vines. Today, an excursion is on the agenda. Vashkivtsi, Vyzhnytsia, Kosiv, Storozhynets and the local Jewish cemeteries.

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A walk through Czernowitz

A morning without obligations. This gives me the chance to take a walk through the city. It’s hot, the sky is bright blue. The city is beautiful.

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Two Cemeteries and an Adventure

Today, the work camp of SVIT Ukraine has begun at the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). 14 young people will clean the cemetery of shrubs and vines for the next three weeks. I met the volunteers this morning. In the early afternoon I was searching of traces of the old Jewish cemetery together with Sylvia de Swaan. A little adventure!

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