To Zhovkva in Good Company

A new journey has begun. Over the next two weeks I will be traveling with my friend Sylvia de Swaan – a great photographer. The first week of our trip through Galicia, Bukovina and Bessarabia we will share with our friends and researchers Marla Raucher Osborn and Jay Osborn. Today we were in Zhovkva, about 30 kilometers north from Lviv.

Sylvia and I arrived yesterday in Lviv – in gray weather. Today we were welcomed by a bright blue sky and all together we left for our first excursion. Originally we wanted to go to Zhovkve and Belz but because of a misinformation about the bus connections we managed only to go to Zhovkva.

Zhovkva never ceases to amaze me with its large market square, its castle, its beautiful old houses. Before the war half of the population was Jewish. Their traces are still visible. Well known is the great fortress synagogue in the town center. We asked at the information desk of the castle and the synagogue was opened for us. If you look closely there are more traces; at many doorframes around the market square are still traces of Jewish home blessings – called mezuzah in Hebrew.

Almost disappeared is the Jewish cemetery; at its location is now a market. No plaque tells about the history of the place. The last preserved tombs are protected by an ohel. Today was market day and lively activity. Also next to the ohel waited trader for customers.

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