Traveling through Poland and looking at Jewish spots gave me a distinct feeling of a void in the country. Because so long as passed, it may be that many people no longer feel this, but it seems impossible that for many years afterward, there wouldn't be something real missing from daily life. In some towns we visited, up to 50% of the town population was Jewish (sometimes even more) and almost all perished during the Holocaust. How could you not feel as though something was missing?
Today, you see remnants of the once vibrant Jewish life--a deserted synagogue here, a house of prayer that sits longing to be used there. This was the feeling I got from three cities we visited: Bedzin (pronounced Benjin), Tarnow (pronounced Tarnuff) and Bobowa (pronounced Bub-ova). The loss was striking to me, although life did and does continue to go on around these sites, which sit lonely without their congregations, without those who keep it vibrant and alive.
I will share with you a few photos of these downs below:
|Neighborhood house of prayer in Bedzin...literally in an apartment complex. This shows how many Jews there were to necessitate and use a house of prayer in an apartment complex.|
|In the same apartment complex in Bedzin|
|An apartment that was once a house of prayer in Bedzin.|
|The bimah from a temple in Tarnow that was destroyed by the Nazis. The bimah still stands protected, yet unused.|
|This says "Various Snacks" in Yiddish in Tarnow. One of the many remnants of the Jewish life that is no longer.|
|Bimah in Bobowa that has been redone...faded frescos in the background|
|Faded frescos in the abandoned Bobowa synagogue|
|The front of the Bobowa Synagogue|