Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I recently received the latest book from my Swiss friend Simon Geissbuhler, "Like Shells on a Shore". It briefly covers abandoned cemeteries in Bessarabia, including Botosani, Bucecea, Dorohoi, Rezina, Vadul Rascov and others. Although it's a short book (107 pages), it is at the same time deep, sad, beautiful and contains very nice pictures. I was particularly interested in the Vadul Rascov segment, with pictures and description I haven't seen before.

But more than just a research and collection of abandoned Jewish cemeteries, Simon wanders in a past that is slowly disappearing, as its monuments that attest the passage of time and are the proof of a big Jewish existence in these areas, are in decay.

He writes: "The Jewish cemeteries and the synagogues are often the sole testimonies of what once was. They are powerful memorials to a civilization that was wiped out in the Holocaust, fragments of a shattered world, and reminders of an enterprising Jewish existence."