Absent Yet Present Doron Shach
Absent Yet Present in Jewish Krakow
Follow in the footsteps of the Jews of Kazimierz into a world which is no more.
For several years now, I have been exploring Kazimierz, roaming its streets, familiarizing myself with its paths and byways, and discovering its history. On the many tours I have guided there, the city has revealed hidden and unconcealed remnants from Kazimierz’s extraordinary Jewish past, a world that disappeared, vanishing completely by the end of the war.
The reminders of the city’s Jewish past seem to reawaken Kazimierz as it once was – its streets and courtyards, its houses of study and houses of prayer, alongside its businesses and cultural institutions, and its different groups of Jews who lived next to one another, each with its own distinct spiritual and cultural character.
I felt compelled to document and share these markers that remain of the vibrant Jewish presence in the city, for whoever might want to experience a fragment of the historic beauty and grandeur of Kazimierz.
Visitors to the city who read this book receive a comprehensive sense of Jewish Kazimierz experienced both visually and through their very footsteps. This live, direct encounter with the Hebrew and Yiddish inscriptions, the streets, structures, courtyards and entryways, allows them to feel the pulse of the Jewish life that once beat here, to experience its rich diversity and its intensity.