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.

This morning we went to the Tempel Synagogue of Radautz to visit it. On the day of our arrival in Radautz we saw a sign with the opening hours. Unfortunately, we waited in vain – the synagogue remained closed. Maybe because of the Orthodox Easter holiday, perhaps the information is out of date. Our previous trip through the Southern Bukovina was so far fascinating for me and my friends, but a bit we are disappointed that we were not able to see a single synagogue from the inside.

We drove back to Suceava, passed through the city and drove further east to Botoșani. The city looks very ugly at first sight – a conglomeration of concrete buildings from the communist era. Only later we saw some beautiful buildings preserved from the 19th century. The two Jewish cemeteries are located on an arterial road in close neighborhood to each other in the suburbs.

A neighbor saw us as we stood in front of the closed gate and called the keyholder. The terrain of the cemetery is impressively large and proves the existence of a formerly large Jewish community. I am always surprised that each cemetery has its own style. In Botoșani it is characterized by iron ohels. Weather and human storms have done them no good; they are rusted and bent. Parts of the cemetery are already cleaned, other parts disappear in a jungle of scrubs and ivy.

The old Jewish cemetery is  particularly impressive because of the quality of stonework. It is in slightly better condition than the cemetery in Dorohoi, but again, the destruction is immense.

Before we left we took a look on the Synagogue of Botoșani. As in Dorohoi it is hidden in the courtyard of an ugly residental complex. Inside, there must be very beautiful wall paintings, but unfortunately we also found this synagogue closed.

On the way back to Suceava we made a small detour via Bucecea. There is a small cemetery, which was probably founded in the 19th century – at least the grave stones allow this conclusion. The cemetery is surrounded by a solid wall – wide lands with empty hills are unfold beyond the cemetery. Again that strange feeling of eternity came over me.

Tomorrow we have to leave our rental car, since we can not take it with us to Ukraine. We will then travel to Chernivtsi (Czernowitz) by bus.

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One thought on “Further East

  1. Please let me know if you find any Kron headstones. I’ve hit a wall with my genealogical research, and I am hopeful that your excellent work might provide a path forward. Thank you!

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