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.

In Lychakiv cemetery two large military cemeteries are included. One for the Poles, a second for the Ukrainians who fought in 1918 and 1919 in Lviv. Both fought for an independent state, both claimed the city for themselves. It shockes me always how young these men were when they fell. 18, 19, 20 years. We even see the grave of a Polish officer, who was 16 when he died. Among the Poles are some with polonized German names, a Mr. Ruebenbauer, a Mr. Müller.

Then we walk for a last time through the city, eat a last time a tasty Ukrainian meal, pass a last time the Golden Rose, the oldest synagogue in Galicia. And then our time is already over. The days went by quickly.

But there is still something I have to tell. When I am in Lviv, I always stay at the Hotel George, a great hotel from the time of the turn of the century. Marianna and Natalya, the two always friendly and always helpful receptionists at the George called today in the morning when I was packing my suitcase. If I could just come down to the reception for three minutes? The two had packed me a small gift package and smiled at me like on Christmas Eve. Thanks to both of you! That was really nice and gave me a lot of joy!

There are some more, I have to thank: my friends Ingo and Sabine, who traveled with me. It was wonderful having both of you with me! And then there were the many who have followed our journey via the blog, commented and asked questions. It’s nice to travel with so many people. Thank you! The most I have to thank the volunteers, who will work for another two weeks at the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi (Czernowitz). You are the future!

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