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Krakow and Galicia

Krakow and Galicia. Roots Tour. Photographed and presented by Jair (Yair) Moreshet, 2008. Music: Chopin, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor.

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Krakow and Galicia

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  1. Krakow and Galicia Roots Tour Photographed and presented by Jair (Yair) Moreshet, 2008 Music: Chopin, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor

  2. Krakow is one of the largest and oldest cities of Poland. It is Poland's medieval and renaissance royal capital and was in the 15th century among the most magnificent cities in Europe. - It is among the first sites incorporated in the UNESCO list of world heritage. Krakow: Main Market Square

  3. Main Market Square: Cloth Hall, the city’s old trading center

  4. St. Adalbert’s Church on the Main Market Square

  5. The Florian Gate and a remaining section of the medieval city wall

  6. St. Mary’s Basilica on the Main Market Square

  7. Summer festivities at the back of St. Mary’s Basilica and St. Barbara Church

  8. The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul

  9. The Wawel Royal Castle and Cathedral

  10. Szeroka St. was the Main Square of the Jewish community in the historical Kazimierz neighborhood of Krakow. Today It is a lovely tourist center with restaurants serving traditional Jewish food, accompanied by live performances of Hasidic Kleizmer bands.

  11. This Synagogue has been active continuously since its inception close to the beginning of massive Jewish settlement in Poland. The massive settlement began in the 14th century by invitation of King Kazimierz the Great, who extended to them political protection from persecutions all over Europe.

  12. Sokolow, where my father was born, is a typical small town (“Shtetl”) in Galicia. At that time Galicia was a part of the Austrian Empire, along with today’s Czech and Slovakia Republics. (As a grownup my father moved to Krakow, and in 1928 he immigrated to Israel as a young pioneer.)

  13. The yard / farm of a current local resident whose lifestyle is apparently much as it was centuries ago.

  14. The owner and his next door neighbor. The woman seemed to still remember my family’s last name.

  15. The area seems to experience now some prosperity. Here is a roadside inn on the way to Sokolow.

  16. Whereas my own parents immigrated to Israel as pioneers in the 1920’s, my father’s parents chose to stay in their “Shtetl”. They were murdered in the nearby forest before the “industrialization” of the project began. In WW I my grandfather served in the Austrian Army (on the German side)! No Roots Tour in the area is complete without a visit to the Auschwitz II-Birkenau extermination camp.

  17. Several cargo trains a day were going through the gate structure into the Birkenau camp (here) carrying mass transports of men, women, and children from all over Europe.

  18. Having spent most of my life in Israel on Defense (bothin Research and Analysis of certain Modern Defense Technology issues, andin parallel in 33 years of active Military Service in Ground Troops), - the most moving moment of my life was coming across this Israeli tour-group in front of the Gas Chambers - Crematoria complex, wrapped in Israeli national flags and engaged in a low keynote singing of “Never Again”.

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