23
Nov
2012
Ruth Ellen Gruber's picture

The Shtetl Route

Synagogue in Chmielnik

 

Dzialoszyce, Poland

The first time I visited Dzialoszyce, a dusty village about 50 kilometers northeast of Krakow, an elderly woman approached as I stood with several companions, gazing at the gaping roofless ruin that had once been the town's grand synagogue.

She mumbled a few words of Yiddish in our direction, then apologized that it had been such a long time since she had spoken that language.

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23
Nov
2012
Ruth Ellen Gruber's picture

Krakow

Kazimierz

 

Krakow, Poland's historic royal capital, lives and breathes historic memory.

Its magnificent main market Square, the Rynek Glowny, serves as a vast urban living room at the heart of a medieval Old Town that rivals that of Prague.

There, each hour on the hour, day and night, a trumpeter climbs to the top of St. Mary's Basilica and plays a fanfare that is cut off abruptly in mid-note to recall a trumpeter who was killed by invading Tartars while playing the very same call to arms in 1241.

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10
Mar
2012
Ruth Ellen Gruber's picture

Poland's Far Southeast Corner

Tags: 
Jewish cemetery Rymanow

When I look at a map, I always feel that the most remote part of Poland is that little triangle of territory in the far southeast of the country that forms a wedge between Ukraine and Slovakia. It's not really that far away -- just a three or four hour drive from Krakow. But it's a fascinating part of the world at the gateway to the Carpathian mountains, a region of lush hills, rushing streams and all the bucolic beauty that goes with it, combined with a complex and often cruel history of war, strife and ethnic cleansing.

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