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nuthatch | profile | all galleries >> misc >> 2013 Rohatyn Visits - Photos and Docs >> 2013 Rohatyn Visit #1 - April 30th tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

2013 Rohatyn Visit #1 - April 30th

A one-day visit to Rohatyn to assess the status of the ongoing headstone recovery project and review the state of family sites; we are also hoping to get inside of some former houses of Marla's Rohatyn family. And perhaps the wartime hiding place of part of her family and of a neighbor and survivor. This is an unusual visit: we are accompanied again by our friend Renaud, but this time he has brought his cameraman Vincent and is reporting for a French TV program about Jews who return to the towns of their ancestors for family research and to revive the past before the war; we hope the exposure will help with Marla's group's projects in town. This time again we also have our great friend Jeremy with us; he is also a descendant of Rohatyners, and in addition now works for the JDC in Ukraine on several projects which assist Jewish communities and build Jewish-Ukrainian cooperation in towns all over the country. And we are very pleased to have with us again our friends Alex and Vitaly for guidance, translation, and transport to and around town. [Photos which include Jay are thanks to Alex Denysenko.]
on our way from Lviv, we find the road conditions poor
on our way from Lviv, we find the road conditions poor
but the countryside is green and lush this Spring
but the countryside is green and lush this Spring
as we enter Rohatyn, we see a former Schechter house has been repainted white!
as we enter Rohatyn, we see a former Schechter house has been repainted white!
we meet Mr. Vorobets, and give him a copy of the 1846 map on behalf of RSRG
we meet Mr. Vorobets, and give him a copy of the 1846 map on behalf of RSRG
he shows us photos of a family here who sheltered Jews from a neighboring village
he shows us photos of a family here who sheltered Jews from a neighboring village
then we are off to Drahomanova street, where headstones have been found in the past
then we are off to Drahomanova street, where headstones have been found in the past
there are two new ones by the river, and one by the roadside
there are two new ones by the river, and one by the roadside
this woman tells us that once many stones were visible in this road
this woman tells us that once many stones were visible in this road
these fragments are small enough we can carry them ourselves...
these fragments are small enough we can carry them ourselves...
...and place them in the van for transport to the new cemetery
...and place them in the van for transport to the new cemetery
Jeremy explains what we are doing, to help spread the word
Jeremy explains what we are doing, to help spread the word
now we return to a courtyard where several stones have been found in past years
now we return to a courtyard where several stones have been found in past years
the wall of stones has been partially disassembled
the "wall of stones" has been partially disassembled
Mr. Vorobets tells us some of these were moved to the cemetery...
Mr. Vorobets tells us some of these were moved to the cemetery...
...and that this nearby garden still contains even more buried stones
...and that this nearby garden still contains even more buried stones
Marla relates her family's experiences in town to the French TV reporters...
Marla relates her family's experiences in town to the French TV reporters...
...then we go behind her family's buildings to see about getting inside
...then we go behind her family's buildings to see about getting inside
Mr. Vorobets explains the background to one current resident
Mr. Vorobets explains the background to one current resident
part of Marla's family once lived in her house
part of Marla's family once lived in her house
no rest for Vincent and Renaud; there is a story to tell here!
no rest for Vincent and Renaud; there is a story to tell here!
up the stairs to see the apartment
up the stairs to see the apartment
the current resident tells what she knows of Rohatyn history after the war
the current resident tells what she knows of Rohatyn history after the war
now we head down to the lower apartment and basement
now we head down to the lower apartment and basement
Alex and Jeremy note many original details
Alex and Jeremy note many original details
then a few houses away from the rynek is another house of Marla's family...
then a few houses away from the rynek is another house of Marla's family...
...where several Jews from Rohatyn hid during the war
...where several Jews from Rohatyn hid during the war
this man lives there now, and gives us the recent house history
this man lives there now, and gives us the recent house history
the house is much changed, but it is good to trade stories
the house is much changed, but it is good to trade stories
now around at the streetfront, we try to get into the basement, another known hiding place
now around at the streetfront, we try to get into the basement, another known hiding place
the lock is rusted shut; we all try our hand
the lock is rusted shut; we all try our hand
finally Vitaly brings pliers and succeeds
finally Vitaly brings pliers and succeeds
a rather chilling place, even without the history
a rather chilling place, even without the history
the basement has changed significantly since the war...
the basement has changed significantly since the war...
...but it is still possible to appreciate what life may have been like down here
...but it is still possible to appreciate what life may have been like down here
we thank the shop owner for letting us see it...
we thank the shop owner for letting us see it...
...and move on to the new cemetery
...and move on to the new cemetery
glad to see others have been here to pay respect
glad to see others have been here to pay respect
we place the three newest stones in the collection...
we place the three newest stones in the collection...
...and with a little cleaning...
...and with a little cleaning...
...the second of the three stones reveals some lettering
...the second of the three stones reveals some lettering
there are other stones newly recovered...
there are other stones newly recovered...
...since we were last here in late 2012
...since we were last here in late 2012
but we see one old stone is now cracked
but we see one old stone is now cracked
how to best preserve all these stone fragments remains an important issue
how to best preserve all these stone fragments remains an important issue
near the cemetery memorial, Marla notices a large granite stone under some bushes
near the cemetery memorial, Marla notices a large granite stone under some bushes
removing a thick carpet of moss, a name is revealed
removing a thick carpet of moss, a name is revealed
now we are at the southern mass grave, explaining what happened here for French TV
now we are at the southern mass grave, explaining what happened here for French TV
Mr. Vorobets continues his ongoing care of the site
Mr. Vorobets continues his ongoing care of the site
Mr. Vorobets alerts us to some decay at the Soviet memorial to the victims
Mr. Vorobets alerts us to some decay at the Soviet memorial to the victims
the group offers the small funds necessary to make repairs
the group offers the small funds necessary to make repairs
Marla talks to the reporters about the motivations for may Rohatyn descendants to see where their families lived, and many died
Marla talks to the reporters about the motivations for may Rohatyn descendants to see where their families lived, and many died
then we visit the old cemetery, just a quick look
then we visit the old cemetery, just a quick look
now it is easy to see into the new ohel raised over the grave of well-known rabbis
now it is easy to see into the new ohel raised over the grave of well-known rabbis
another memorial needs some light repair here
another memorial needs some light repair here
a group picture at the end of the day...
a group picture at the end of the day...
...and we wish our friend good health and goodbye
...and we wish our friend good health and goodbye