Link & translation provided by Robin Koerner
A local historian is giving a tour of the town to local high school students in Polish you can see some of what is left of the Jewish life that once flourished there.
My nephew's fiancée translated the conversation for me (see below) which tells a little about the Jewish history & other info on the town. Just thought it was interesting & wanted to share it with you. The video was sent to me by another landsman and Facebook friend of mine, Diane Fisher who lives in San Francisco her grandfather is from this town also.
Żyjemy Razem. Krynki 2010
We live Together. Workshop. Krynki 2010. Warsztaty wielokulturowe. Zobacz film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2b--XbG_go">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2b--XbG_go
Children introducing themselves by name, they are all students of the local school/youth organization in Krynki.
Interview between boy in black & white coat and local historian:
Boy: What is the name of the building we're standing in front of and when was it built?
Historian: The building in front of us is the Beth Midrash (study hall) and it was built in the 19th century. We are in a section of town called Caucasian. Where does it get this name? During the late 19th to early 20th century the leather industry was prominent here and all the raw leather was imported from Caucasia (a mountainous region in Siberia). This name was adopted by the Jewish people working and living here and it is also what the synagogue was named.
Interview between young girl and historian
Girl: May I ask you who built the doors we're standing in front of and when were they built?
Historian: This building is from the pre-war era. A Jewish family lived in this building prior to the war and the doors were likely crafter by a Jewish carpenter. What do they symbolize? The ornaments on these doors, the head of a lion, palm leaves, grapes are all common symbolic items seen throughout Judiasm. I believe these doors are also from the pre-war.
Girl: Ms. Cecilia, how and when was this building constructed?
Historian: This is the church of Krynki, built from 1907-1912 in the Neo-gothic style during a project created by a well-known architect of the late 19th and early 20th century Stefan Syzller.
Girl: What are these ruins?
Historian: These are the ruins of the largest synagogue in Krynka which was called the Great Synagogue. It was built in the late 18th century, it was several stories tall with elaborate decoration inside. The building was destroyed in 1944 as the last of the German army was fleeing Krynki. The ruins stood in the same condition until the 1970s when they were burnt down completely, leaving only these walls behind.
Girl: Who did this beautiful house belong to, was there anything interesting that happened here?
Historian: This is a very characteristic building that is seen all over Krynki. It is made of light-colored brick, with a very decorative balcony and a distinct Star-of-David within the brickwork at each corner of the house.
Girl: Ms. Cecilia, what year was our parish church built?
Historian: The construction took place between 1864-1868 and it is the first brick and mortar Orthodox Christian house of worship in Krynki. Prior to that there were 2-3 wooden churches before a larger group of Christians moved into the area and built this.
Girl: I know that this is a synagogue but does it have any special meaning?
Historian: This synagogue belonged to the Chasidic Jews of Slonimski, it is also from the 19th century. As you can see it is a brick building which once was beautifully decorated however is now falling apart. It is also known as the Jewtes Beth Midrash because the founder of this synagogue was Jewta Rotawoloska Waltham (?).
Historian: Krynki is located in a very geographically interesting area of Poland, as well in an interesting area of Europe for several reasons. It was a highly diverse area both culturally and religiously people whose footprints can be seen to this day. Also the layout of the town itself is very original in that there is a central, six-sided central market with 12 roads coming off of it. It is one of only two places in the world built this way, the other being Paris whose central market was constructed 100 years after the one in Krynki was built.
Message scrolling at end: After this original documentary was filmed, several others have created similar films, texts and works of art inspired by the students of the local Krynki school.
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Updated 18 Jun 2011 by LA