In spring 2010, Dick Koops, an educational adviser at a regional education centre in Groningen, The Netherlands, currently living in Germany, generously volunteered to do work during his summer in Lviv, Ukraine on behalf of Gesher Galicia, and the Lviv House Photography Project was born.
Gesher Galicia members submitted requests, and for four weeks Mr. Koops walked the streets of Lviv (formerly Lvov/Lwow/Lemberg) in search of the streets, lanes and pathways our ancestors once walked and the houses they resided in.
One of the workers of the Henri Nouwen Foundation — Ivanka Mohylyak — did research on the street names, many of which have changed during the last 70 years. Gesher Galicia thanks her for her valuable contribution to this effort. We’d also like to thank Petrov Kokor, brother of the local head of the Foundation, who was Koops’ guide and translator during many of the photo-runs through the city. When Koops was asked why he was taking these pictures, Kokor was able to explain the nature of this mission. Koops has a special affection for Lviv, as I know many of our relatives did. As he writes: “I love Lviv, not because it is finished and ready, but because it has the potential to become very beautiful.” He also explains that many of you may be shocked by the condition of these buildings, and when he met with the current residents they would often ask him to give them a new apartment. They were very much aware of their bad living conditions.
These photos are listed in alphabetical order (from A to Z) according to street name, with the address provided. In some cases there are interior and street views as well and more than one house is included. There is a special folder for the Jewish hospital.
You only need to click on an image to see a larger view and these photos can be downloaded to your computer. If you want to add a comment about the house (especially the age of the building or the identity and years of who once lived there) please email me this information and also add it as a comment on Flickr via the link that has been provided. Eventually we will incorporate this information into a searchable database, so others may benefit. In this way you may discover “neighbors” (and possibly other relatives) of your ancestors. And, of course, there were many of you who actually lived in these buildings before and after the war. Your stories are important to us, and we’ll try to feature this project, and the lives behind these buildings, in a program at next year’s IAJGS conference in Los Angeles.
Mr. Koops is the owner of these photographs, and he has graciously allowed Gesher Galicia to post them, and our members to download them for personal use only. If you want to use the photos for any other purpose, you should contact Koops directly at: email@example.com. He is looking forward to your reactions to the pictures.
I’d like to share his closing words which were in an email to me when he sent the file containing these photographs:
I very much hope that my work in Lviv, will be meaningful for the Jewish grand-grandchildren of those who were victims of the Nazi-regime and those who supported it or allowed it to exist. We cannot change history; at least to learn from it is already very difficult.