A last Day in Lviv

A last day in Lviv for Sylvia and me before heading to Podolia/Transnistria. Sylvia gave an impressive speech at a conference. At noon we walked to the site of former concentration camp at Janowska Road. In the evening there was another opportunity to meet old and new friends.

Sylvia spoke today at a conference for the preservation of Jewish Heritage, an event to which she had been invited by Meylakh Sheykhet two days ago. She talked about the fate of her family, deportation to Transnistria, emigration to America, nightmares she was tormented by as a child and how she processed all of this as an artist. It was an impressive speech which found its audience among present historians and preservationists.

At noon we took a long walk to the Jewish cemetery – there are no burials from before 1944 preserved, all older graves were destroyed by the Nazis – and the to former concentration camp at Janowska Road. Behind the former camp is a small valley where the mass killings took place. The “black archeology”, on which I reported last year, did not come to an end. Furthermore, some people are looking for valuables – mainly weapons from the wartime they hope to find and sell to collectors. Nothing like that can be found there, only the ashes of more than hundred thousand human beings.

The war in eastern Ukraine is present in the city center of Lviv. During our walk we saw the promotional stands of the army and of voluntary battalions. Little boys were posing with machine guns. Russia’s aggression militarizes parts of the Ukrainian society.

In the evening there was another opportunity to meet old and new friends. I am a admirer of Areta Kovalska’s Blog Shadows of a forgotten World. The similarity of our interests is obvious and it was nice to have finally met Areta in person. Thank you! Thanks also to Olesya and Natalya from the wonderful team of George Hotel, with whom Sylvia and I spent the evening. You made us feel at home. See you again soon!

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