Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ukraine Trip Post #9--Day 7 (September 7, 2016), Part 2

(To see everything from my Ukraine trip, see here.)

Next, we headed towards Bilovartsi, home of my Vizel family.  We asked for directions to the Jewish cemetery and after driving down a gravel "road," we thought we were there but didn't see any cemetery.  There was an old lady nearby, and we asked her, and she pointed up.  And that's how I ended up going mountain climbing in Ukraine.
View from the Bilovartsi Cemetery

The cemetery was high on a hill.  Many of the stones toppled and inaccessible; others were worn away by the elements.  But some were legible.
Grave of Zlata daughter of Avraham Baruch
One stone was that of Zlata, daughter of Avraham Baruch who died in 1939.  She was משלשלת היוחסין, meaning she was descended from great Rabbis.  Could she be related to my Vizels, who were descendents of great Rabbis including the Ta"Z and the Ba"Ch?  I need to get death records from this town to find out for sure.

We then headed back to Khust.  We were passing by Khust's new (post-war) cemetery, so I photographed all of the stones.  One that actually made me laugh was this one:
Grave of Dovid (son of Chaim) Fuchs, Khust New Cemetery
Most of the stones were in Hebrew and Russian, with some of the newer ones only in Russian.  But Dovid Fuchs' gravestone was only in Hebrew.  The translation tells you why.  He "became stronger in his Judaism under the rule of the evil regime in Russia."  Since he died in 1963, when this was still part of the Soviet Union, writing this in Hebrew was likely a way to keep his family out of trouble!
Grave of a Holocaust Survivor, Roza (Alto Rochel) Strulovich who had "great tribulations for three years" (and a misspelling of והיא)

Many of the more recent stones which had Hebrew had lots of misspellings.  Those for Holocaust survivors talked about the hardships that the deceased had gone through in life.

(Transcriptions of Bilovartsi & Khust cemeteries have been submitted to JOWBR.)

The cemetery was on a hillside covered in cemeteries.  We continued up the hill, where Khust Castle is perched up top.
Hiking up to Khust Castle
There's quite a hike to get to the mountain from where we parked.  But we were rewarded by views of Khust below and the Carpathian Mountains in the background.
View from Khust Castle
That evening we walked around town, and we were able to see Khust Castle towering above:
Khust Castle from downtown Khust
Downtown Khust is a mixture of old...
...and new.
Lots of people have asked about the accommodations in Ukraine; they were perfectly fine.  Here's the room I stayed in while in Khust.
Prince Hotel in Khust

Here's where we were geographically in this post:

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  1. I love the attitude of Dovid Fuchs and his family. Thank you so much for this travelogue.

  2. Just a small point: i think "התחזק ביהדות״ here means "he held on to his yiddishkeit", not became stronger in it . . .

    1. That's what I wrote originally, but Israel Pickholtz corrected it to this....

  3. Wow, the genealogy trip of a lifetime. And happy to see that you're going to be heading up the Subcarpathia SIG!