Aug 11 - Kremenets

In about 1871, the Oks family moved from Radyvyliv to Kremenets.  

Kremenets was the administrative center of the region. The town was enlightened with a culture of education. Kremenets boasts having the most scenic panorama in all of this part of Eastern Europe. 

Kremenets is nestled in a valley of the Kremenets mountains (named for the flint that can be found everywhere). The castle mountain overlooking Kremenets does provide a great view of the surrounding farm land, mountains, and town. You can see the Orthodox Church complex of Pochayiv.

Kremenets had a thriving Jewish community, 38% Jewish of 17,000; but most lived in the packed Jewish quarter near the center of education spreading off to the east where the cemetery on a hill side was safely placed. 

The only remaining synagogue is now a bus depot at the far end of town.

We would have liked to walk the Jewish quarter, but it all burned down. But, it has been preserved as a park with the old streets serving as walking paths. The old Soviet Ferris Wheel and playground are situated here and the only remaining building is now a children’s library.

It burned after the Jewish quarter was turned into a ghetto by the Germans to house locals and near by residents; then everyone was marched out into the killing fields.

The memorials (old Soviet era, and Israeli replacement) sits on top of the WWI ordinance pit where the Jews were slaughtered and buried. The site of the pit is now tree lined, but off the beaten path. With a tiny roadway with dumpsters and trash, leading off to the grainery and flour mill.

We visited the local museum ...

I wrote in the visitors book ...

“How do you document genocide?

The curators addressed their little piece of the Shoah with some attempt at dignity. Moving.”

I found the following poem inspiring ... then Carol and I sat and gathered out thoughts and emotions.

Ivan Herasevych

I’ll talk about the Cemetery in another post ...