A mini-documentary film about Jewish cemeteries in Moldova highlights the value of Jewish cemeteries, their visual power, and the challenges of caring for them in Moldova — but the points brought out in the 13-minute film, called “A Vanished World,” resonate with the situation in many other countries.
The film, by Eugenia Pogor, was produced in Russian and Romanian — but has English subtitles. It focuses on three cemeteries: the vast Jewish cemetery at Vadul-Raşcov , a village on the bank of the Dniester River where no Jews live; and the Jewish cemeteries in Ohei — home to few dozen Jews, and Chisinau, the capital.
Pogor interviews a number of people, from Jewish community leaders, to a monuments protection expert, to an academic, and also volunteers, including from the United States and Germany, who took part in a clean-up action at the Jewish cemetery in Chisinau.
The German Christian Herrmann, whose photographic work on Jewish heritage sites we have highlighted in the past on Jewish Heritage Europe, speaks eloquently about the role Jewish cemeteries play in preserving memory and bearing witness in post-Holocaust Europe. Herrmann keeps a blog, also called Vanished World, on his travels — and his most recent trip was to Moldova, where he visited and photographed a number of Jewish cemeteries and other heritage sites.