After long months of planning, negotiations and preparations, an official inauguration of the “Space of Synagogues” has eventually taken place in the central quarter of Lviv. Few thousands of visitors came to join the event. Amongst them were not only Lvivians, but also guests from Israel, Poland, USA, Germany, Canada and other countries.
Luckily for the organizers, September 4 was a fine sunny day with no hints of rain. The scaffolding was just taken out of the walls of former Golden Rose Synagogue and there were the last engraved stones of the “Perpetuation” memorial installed at the place few days before. The last honey locust was planted between the memorial and the House of Eduaction Beth Hamidrash. Everything was ready.
The inauguration started at 3 p.m. After official greetings of Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi and other speakers, Dr. Leszek Allerhand, a former Lvivian and a Holocaust survivor, shared his story. As a child he lived with his family in a house situated in front of the Golden Rose. Born in 1931 in Lviv into a family of Polish Jews, Allerhand was 10 years old when he saw the Golden Rose Synagogue burning for the first time. German soldiers knocked on the door of his family’s home on Brativ Rohatyntsiv Street, in Lviv’s Jewish quarter, and ordered Allerhand and his family to remain quiet and stay inside, while Ukrainian aid police were guarding the perimetr. The family watched through the windows as the synagogue burned. Later in 1943 another synagogue standing in front of Allerhand’s family hourse – The Great City Synagogue, – was burnt to the ground.
This and other stories of Jewish Lviv is what makes the Space of Synagogues such an important place for the city. To all the visitors who came and who will come it is an evidence, that the city remembers the stories of its dwellers, however complicated and uneasy they might be.
At the climax of inauguration the mayor Andrii Sadovyj together with Honorary Consul of Israel in Western Ukraine Oleg Vishnyakov, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine Dr. Ernst Reichel and the Counsellor of the Embassy of Israel in Ukraine Henadii Polishchuk and the eldest member of the Lviv Jewish community and the head of Sholem Aleichem society in Lviv Borys-Baruh Dorfman have opened a “Perpetuation” memorial.