The surrounding countryside of Kiev, and other cities, such as Lviv, and even my own ancestral hometown, Bolekhiv, are quiet in the night, while the Russians prepare their next attempts to maneuver their positions, to be in alignment with their next forward march into the fray. By now, they know that they will continue to meet with resistance from the Ukrainian defenders. These are not nationalists, like the propaganda espoused by the Putin regime would have it known; rather, these are loyal citizens of a country that has been trying to gain its complete freedom for decades. True, it was Ukrainian nationalists in the midst of WW2, who were no friends of the Jewish population in Bolechov, Poland in 1939, when the Soviets retreated. However, the current generation of Ukrainians are not responsible for the sins of their ancestors.
After WW2, my ancestral hometown fell in under the new lines of demarcation, designating the city as Bolekhiv in the newly established boundaries of Soviet Ukraine. And, now, 58 years later, and, incidentally, fifty-eight miles south of Lviv, I wonder how far the smoldering torches of war have receded, or perhaps impeded upon the place where the graves of my ancestors rest. Of course, most of them, were actually buried in either one of two mass graves. The first, 7 km outside of Bolechov (now, Bolekhiv) in the Tanaiwa forest. The other, hastily made grave in the actual cemetery. This cemetery is the best preserved Jewish cemetery in Europe. I have always wanted to visit, since I “found” my ancestors through genealogical research. And, now, How am I to do so? Ultimately, if am able to do so in the future, will I be entering an independent Ukraine, or Soviet-controlled Ukraine?
My ancestors souls,
transcend earthly boundaries,
knowing only peace.
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