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Use our multimedia maps, and explore the family pictures, archival material, and personal stories of 21 Jewish Holocaust survivors to get a unique insight into Europe’s rich Jewish heritage, and to discover sites of Jewish life in towns in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.
Why am I writing? Maybe because I was born in Chernivtsi, because the world came to me in Chernivtsi. That special landscape. The special people. Fairy tales and myths were in the air, you could breathe them in.
If it was not for the memorial plaque, placed here in 2001 for Rose Ausländer´s 100th birthday, barely anyone would pay attention to the building on Sahaidachnoho Str. 57. However, it was here, in this building in Morariu Street, where the German-language poetess Rose Ausländer was born (under her real name, Rosalie Beatrice Scherzer), into a German-speaking Jewish family.
Rosalie spent a careless childhood and first school years, but during World War I she had to leave her home for the first time. With her parents, she fled to Vienna, but returned back home in 1920 where her father died shortly thereafter.
In 1921, she emigrated to the US with Ignaz Ausländer, a friend from university. They married, and she took his name – which she kept after their divorce. In 1931, a grave illness of her mother forced Rose to return returned to Chernivtsi for a short visit. This time she and her new partner lived in a more spacious flat in present Bohdana Khmelnytskogo Street. Rose got involved in the cultural life of the town but could not find a permanent job. Once again, she had to move– this time to Bucharest. In 1939, when her mother’s health deteriorated, Rose returned again. The Soviet annexation of Northern Bukovina in June 1940 Rose was arrested as a foreign spy and spent several months in a NKVD prison. This turned to be only the beginning of the horror she had to survive in her native town when in June 1941, German and Romanian troops came into town.
In October 1941 Rosa Ausländer had to move to the Chernivtsi ghetto but avoided being deported to Transnistria. In the spring of 1944, she got to know young Paul Antschel who would later become known as Paul Celan. After the war, Rose emigrated again to the US, but in the mid-1960s, she returned to Europe – first to Vienna, then Duesseldorf, where she died in 1988.
A monument on Chernivtsi´s Holy Mary Square is dedicated to the famous daughter of the city. The inscription reads:
A golden chain
Is captivating me
To my beloved city.
Where the sun rises
Where it set