While I have little doubt that their lives were very difficult-like most of the rest of the world there was no electricity/refrigeration/automobiles- but they were considerably more mobile than I would have imagined. Trade routes brought goods and people from Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and beyond. I have since learned that the "Fiddler on the Roof" image was promulgated in part as propaganda to serve political exigencies. While my grandmother (Frieda) only lived in Zmigrod for a few years (more on her later history to come), this was her first home and the documented home of her father and as such, represented for me a generational connection of great importance and I was commensurately moved.
|Rabbi's grave Zmigrod|
|Synagogue remains, Dukla|
The Jewish cemetery would be our next stop in Dukla and I was glad we saved it for last. By now, we expected the graves to be desecrated but devoted locals have worked to restore what they could to a state of honor with a respect for the departed. I watched my mother wander through the few rows of tombstones and I felt a deep ache in my heart for all the sad history of repression, pogroms, and death that have despoiled the lovely Galician hills and the nearby mountains that we splendidly visible from the hillside position of the cemetery. I had seen Auschwitz-Birkenau, Schindler's Factory, the Krakow ghetto, and more but for the first time, tears sprang to my eyes. Why this spot in Dukla helped serve as my catharsis I will never know but I sensed my mother felt similarly and we returned to the car and began the long drive onto to Rzeszow in silence.