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Europe 2012 – Days 11 and 12 – Trains, Ukraine, and Glad to be Jewish

Friday, 6 July 2012

I feel very lost in this country. I should have spent more time learning Russian, except that things here are in Ukrainian.

But I digress. The train from Krakow to L’viv took the whole day because of two different two hour stops for customs. My bunk mates did the talking for me in Ukraine. The Polish side spoke enough English. I managed at the L’viv train station somehow, and got on to the next train. The only person who spoke English on that one didn’t help much. But I made it to Uzhhorod.

I assumed. There wasn’t a sign at the station saying where I was. With no other plan, I got in a taxi and headed for Hesed Shpira, a local Jewish organization. (Most of the genealogists I tried to hire didn’t even answer my emails.) Of course, it was 7am, and they were closed, so the taxi brought me to the nearest hotel. After a couple of naps, I walked over and met the locals. They will be very helpful.

Producing a few books of people missing after the war, I found lots of family, some missing from the lists, and my grandfather who was in Canada already. It was odd to see him listed there. And I didn’t really search thoroughly.

They arranged for a driver to pick me up the next morning to head to the archive.

The hotel restaurant open 8-23 was closed at 21:00, so someone walked me to a nearby place. Their prices were inflated on the menu ten-fold and I don’t know why. I thought I wouldn’t have enough money to pay. It’s very strange here.

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