Tuesday, August 21, 2007

photos from Kaunas (part 2)

images of Kaunas, grim and lovely--life is complicated, eh?

picture 1--grave pried open by robbers looking for gold in the old (and practically abandoned)Green Hills Jewish cemetery in Kaunas. Shmuel Elchanan found and repaired here the graves of Rabbi Spektor's wife Sarah Raizel and his youngest son Binyamin Rabinowitz. It is almost certain that the grave of Chaim Rabinowitz, the rabbi's oldest son our great-great grandfather and his daughter Rachel are here in this neglected and much vandalized cemetery as well, but we were unable to find them. The masoleum of Rabbi Spektor and Tzvi Hirsch Rabbinowitz was originally here but destroyed in the early 1980's when the Soviet authorities decided to level the cemetery for new development (that never happened but many graves were destroyed). Their bodies were dug up and moved to the new Jewish cemetery.

picture 2
The ruined house in the center of Kaunas where Rabbi Spektor once lived. His youngest son, Binyamin Rabinowitz lived here until 1906, when he was murdered by the husband of the family's washerwoman. Shmuel Elchanan lived here with his family as a youth until they were arrested by the Nazis in 1941 and taken to concentration camps.

picute 3--an upscale street scene in downtown Kaunas only a few blocks from Rabbi Spektor's ruined house.

picture 4 Walter Ruby, Asia Gutterman and Tatyana Rapaport

picture 5-- another vista over Kaunas

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