I have added a few languages to this blog through Google translate. I hope that it may be accurate enough with the communication of ideas.
Witam! (Polish translation of Welcome)
Witam w moim polskim blogu! Mój pradziadek został osierocony w czasie epidemii grypy w 1918 roku i spędził wiele lat poszukując swojego rodzeństwa. Część rodziny pozostała w Chicago a część wróciła do Polski. Część rodziny była katolikami a część, jak przypuszczam, wyznania mojżeszowego. Piszę w moim blogu o rzeczach które odkrywam i o których dowiaduję się mając nadzieję, że pomogą one wszystkim zainteresowanym w ich własnych poszukiwaniach. Wierzę, że ten blog pomoże mi w skontaktowaniu się z ludźmi którzy wiedzą coś na temat osób ktorych poszukuję. Zdjęcia cyfrowe lub linki umieszczone są w większości moich komentarzy i artykułów, można więc otworzyć je na cały ekran. Gorąco zachęcam do komentarzy. Proszę wpisać się do księgi gości i podać kogo Państwo szukacie. Może będziemy mogli pomóc sobie nawzajem, ponieważ nie jest łatwo znaleźć dane których szukamy. Mam nadzieję, że zainteresuje Państwa odkrywanie ze mną tajemnic przeszłości. Mam rówież nadzieję poznać lepiej moje polskie dziedzictwo.
Dodałam do mojego blogu automatyczne tłumaczenia poprzez Google. Ufam, że będą wystarczające w zrozumieniu o czym jest mowa w artykułach i komentarzach.
Dziękuję! - Julie
04 February 2012
The first paragraph on the inside flap of book says, "Since the Holocaust, traces of memory are virtually all that remain in Poland after more than 800 years of Jewish life there. This remarkable album, published on behalf of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, offers a sensitive way of looking at that past. Based entirely on arresting, present-day colour photographs of Polish Galicia, it shows how much of that past can still be seen today if one knows how to look and how to interpret what one sees."
The photographer Chris Schwarz dedicated his life to these pictures, trying to create an awareness from his pictures. His goal was to document and educate. I am an amateur photographer, so I had a great appreciation for his efforts. I also have great appreciation for people trying to preserve history. The author and photographer worked together for 15 years on this picture collection, interviewing many people, trying to preserve memories and get a museum started. In 2002, about 1,000 pictures were ready for an archive. A museum was opened in 2007 to show the collection and display the research efforts.
There are 74 photographs, fully captioned. With annotation and more notes in the back of the book. (book totals 186 pages) There is a picture of a beautiful library, with wall and ceiling murals, which was once a synagogue. There is also a picture of a highway sign marked "Dobra" that is marked with a red line through it, with an explanation that there is nothing Jewish left there to photograph. There is also a photograph of a German Chancellor visiting to "promote Holocaust education and foster reconciliation." as the book states. Here is a link to the book on Amazon, if you are interested to see more about the book. I bought it to learn more. I do not benefit in any way from the sale of this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0253221854/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details
There are two more pages in the book I wanted to mention. 1) I also found the topographical map of Galicia helpful. 2) There is also a page about place names I wanted to mention, in case it helps anyone with research. The place name page states, if you only know a place by it's Yiddish name, you may have trouble finding it on a map. The book explains that people often thought they came from a place too small to be on a map and that's why they couldn't find where their family was from. But it was really a language barrier problem, not a small town problem. The Galician map makers would have listed the towns with names in German, Polish and Ukrainian names, not in Yiddish. If you only know the name in Yiddish, I would suggest trying the Jewish Gen website to find the other name for the place. http://www.jewishgen.org/ On this opening page, you can search for a town name.
Here is a link to the museum, it is in Polish: http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/
Here is a link to the translated English page: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&u=http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/&ei=lQUtT_etJerX0QHiv929Cg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDgQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dgalicia%2Bjewish%2Bmuseum%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DCRy%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26prmd%3Dimvns
I believe that whether you have Jewish ancestry or not, this subject can and should be of interest. It is amazing to me that one political group of people (Nazis) could try to wipe out hundreds of years of history, and appear to have succeeded. But records, memories, writing down those memories, interviewing, taking pictures to document, creating a museum to educate...these are all things that will keep one political group, (the Nazi's), from erasing the Jewish history that was also part of Poland's history. The more we can learn about history, the more we can prevent the history from repeating. The other side to this, is there are other good history lessons we can learn from the history of Poland, like King Kazimierz welcoming the Jews and providing a haven for them. Also the Polish people living side by side with neighbors of various religions without the prejudices seen around the world even today. (See post 16 Aug 2011. The Vilnius Lancers had Christians, Jews and Muslims in the same unit in 1938.) I think what Jonathan Webber and Chris Schwarz did with this book and museum were a great educational undertaking. The museum website said 25,000 people from around the world visit annually. The photographer died in 2007. So at least 175,000 people have already seen the photographs, about 100,000 have seen his pictures since his death. That is the start of two men trying to preserve and document memories, with the assistance of many, who also believe in preserving history, over several decades. I believe in preservation and records!