Saturday, July 2, 2011

Poland again

Krakow. One of my favorite images. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

I realize I haven't posted for more than a week - a week so full of experiences that should go on this blog that I feel I'll never catch up!

I'm in Poland, where I have been at the annual Festival of Jewisg Culture, the great mix of performance and party where I try to come every year, and which I have written about so much.

As I type this, I am sitting in the cafe of the Galicia Jewish Museum, waiting for the start of the gala outdoor concert that mark the final Saturday night of the festival. They used to call it the Final Concert, but you can't say that really now, as further events go on on Sunday, Including some concerts. The official name is Shalom on Szeroka (Szeroka is the name of the main Jewish square in Krakow's Jewish district, Kazimierz). But it looks like this year they have gone back to calling it Jewish Woodstock -- which was a term used to describe the festival already in 1992....

I love the signage you see on the square - have not yest downloaded pictures but will post some examples. One sign advertises that the cafe in question takes "reservations for Shalom."

Reservations accepted for shalom...Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

The weather is not great, chilly and rain is forecast. I plan to stay for a couple of hours, to meet up with some people, and then I am heading back to Oswiecim, an hour away, the town outside of which Auschwitz is located, where I have been staying - I'm writing about attempts by the town to redefine itself, something I first wrote about 18 years ago in the chapter "Snowbound in Auschwitz" in my 1994 book Upon the Doorposts of Thy House. A lot has changed, but also not....

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