Traces Of The Golden Rose – Beyond the End of a History in Lviv (Part Two – Photos)

All photos are from the author, all quotes come from Vasily Grossman’s novels Life and Fate and Everything Flows.

View of the site of the Golden Rose Synagogue from an apartment window above Bratan Rohatynsiv street

“Why do people have memories. It would be easier to die – anything to stop remembering.”

Hebrew inscriptions from the Golden Rose synagogue above and beside doors to the At The Golden Rose Restaurant

“In the blank wall of the world’s indifference there had appeared a tiny snakelike fissure”

Memorial plaque at the site of the Golden Rose synagogue

“It is the writer’s duty to tell the terrible truth, and it is a reader’s civic duty to learn this truth. To turn away, to close one’s eyes and walk past is to insult the memory of those who have perished.”


Hebrew inscriptions on what was once a corner of the the Golden Rose synagogue

“A soul can live in torment for years and years, even decades, as it slowly, stone by stone, builds a mound over a grave; as it moves towards the apprehension of eternal loss and bows down before reality.”

Traces of the Golden Rose synagogue outlined on a wall

“How can you tear something out of your heart. Your heart isn’t made out of paper and your life isn’t written down in ink. You can’t erase the imprint of years.”

A man stands in the empty lot that once was the site of the Golden Rose synagogue

‘If one man is fated to be killed by another, it would be interesting to trace the gradual convergence of their paths. At the start they might be miles away from one another – I might be in Pamir picking alpine roses and clicking my camera, while this other man, my death, might be eight thousand miles away, fishing for ruff in a little stream after school. I might be getting ready to go to a concert and he might be at the railway station buying a ticket to go and visit his mother-in-law – and yet eventually we are bound to meet, we can’t avoid it…”


Fragments of Hebrew on the northern wall of the Golden Rose Synagogue

“Time worked unhurriedly, conscientiously. First the man was expelled from life, to reside instead in people’s memories. Then he lost his right to residence in people’s memories, sinking down into their subconscious minds and jumping out at someone only occasionally, like a jack-in-the-box, frightening them with the unexpectedness of his sudden, momentary appearances.”

A woman makes her way across the empty lot where the Golden Rose Synagogue once stood

Instead of valour or gallantry, you could hear the sadness of a soul parting with everything that it loved, calling on its nearest and dearest to wake up, to lift their head from their pillows and hear for the last time the voice of a father, a husband, a son or a brother…

A man leaving the empty lot where the Golden Rose Synagogue once stood

“…neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store — hard-won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labor camp — they will live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished; and in this alone lies man’s eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or will be…”

The empty lot where the Golden Rose synagogue once stood. Traces of the synagogue can be seen on the opposite wall

“There’s nothing more difficult than saying goodbye to a house where you’ve suffered.”

Click here to read Traces Of The Golden Rose Synagogue– Beyond the End of a History in Lviv (Part One – Text)

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