Rediscovering Traces of Memory. The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia. Jonathan Webber Photographs: Chris Schwarz, Jason Francisco
Rediscovering Traces of Memory was first published in 2009.This updated edition, with forty-five new photographs, reflects the changes that have taken place in Poland since this time.
The Holocaust, followed by forty years of communism, brought to an end a thousand years of Jewish life in Poland, leaving almost nothing except ruins and desolation. But recent years have seen something of a renaissance, with significant new developments in honouring the Jewish past and memorializing the Holocaust. Synagogues and cemeteries that were in ruins are being restored, the Jewish heritage is being publicly acknowledged, and there has been a steady revival of Jewish life. It is a world away from how things were before the end of communism in 1989.
How make a sense of the relics and the revival depends on our perceptions and preconceptions. The aim of this book is to present the facts, but also interpret their meaning. It takes the reader through the Polish landscape, showing not only the tragic settings where Holocaust atrocities took place, but also the paradoxes and contradictions that exist today: restoriations as well as ruins; Jewish presence as well as Jewish absence. It offers a new approach, presenting a chorus of different voices that all need to be heard.