Jerusalem of the Balkans

The Greek city of Thessaloniki had 53,000 Jewish residents before the German occupation in World War II. The vast majority was murdered in Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor. Less than 2,000 survived. My friends Eleftheria and Tsako showed me some of the places where the heritage of the once largest ethnic group of the city is still visible.

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Sinking in the Sand

In the towns south of Warsaw some traces of the former Jewish presence are still visible. In Falenica is a former synagogue. In Otwock, Karczew and Radość Jewish cemeteries are preserved. But the future of these monuments is uncertain.

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What is left of the Jewish Heritage in Góra Kalwaria?

South of Warsaw, Góra Kalwaria was once an important Hasidic court. Thanks to a friend, I was able to find what is left and preserved until the present day. There are the remains of a synagogue – waiting for renovation – and a destroyed but well maintained cemetery. And there is a strange local habit…

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Bródno Jewish Cemetery Revisited

Bródno Jewish cemetery in Warsaw is an extraordinary place. There are intact cemeteries or there are destroyed cemeteries, where no or only a few remains of the former purpose are still visible. Bródno Jewish cemetery is the visibility of destruction.

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A Jewish Necropolis

There is a competition between Warsaw, Vienna, Łódź  and Berlin, who has the biggest Jewish cemetery in Europe. With 43 hectares and 115.000 burials the cemetery in Berlin’s suburb Weißensee is at least one of the biggest. I had a walk there.

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Snow covered Cemeteries

Winterly Galicia looks beautiful. But iced roads can be dangerous and a cold wind was blowing today, when I was out with friend and driver Vasyl to visit the Jewish cemeteries in Shchyrets, Rozdil and Mykolaiv. We discovered some real masterpieces of stone carving.

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Mizoch and the Emptiness

Mizoch (Mizocz) is a small town in Volhynia. The population was composed of Ukrainians, Poles and Jews – until World War II. The scars of the past are still visible in Mizoch; the town’s center remained half empty until the present day.

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Some Summer Black and Whites

After working a lot on my colour photos I finally found time to return to the analogue black and whites. Here is a selection of images I took in August during the trip to Ukraine and Moldova. Represented are Jewish cemeteries in Chişinău (Kishinev), Orhei and Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul Rashkov) in Bessarabia/Moldova, cemeteries in Rîbniţa (Rybnitsa) and Raşcov (Rashkov) in the break away “state” of Transnistria, as well as the former synagogue of Sniatyn in Galicia, Ukraine.

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Vadul-Raşcov Jewish cemetery: Little is known, all is visible

Vadul-Raşcov (Vadul-Rashkov) in Bessarabia is one of the most impressive Jewish cemeteries I have ever seen. There are a few hundred, if not a few thousand gravestones, located on a hill sloping to the banks of river Dniester. This is borderland – in many aspects.

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Yom Kippur in Ioannina

My Cousin Vangelis and I are travelling in Epirus in the north-west of Greece. High up in the Pindos mountains, Ioannina – the regional capital – is located. The trip gave me a unique opportunity to join the Yom Kippur service in the local synagogue and to learn more about one of the most outstanding Jewish communities in Europe.

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