OVERWHELMED BY THE SUFFERING IN THE WORLD--NOW UKRAINE
Now our attention focuses on Ukraine. I have made it my responsibility to follow this conflict in the news, since the latest fighting several years ago. I feel a connection, since I visited Lviv, Ukraine in 2019, as part of a Human Rights trip to Poland. We visited Lviv because it had been a center for Jewish life before the Holocaust.
As I experienced with the Poles, I observed the Ukrainians to be resilient, tough, and forward thinking, in spite of the trauma that has affected multiple generations. We stayed in a modern hotel in Lviv with updated food choices. Clearly, the employees aimed to demonstrate their progress. The food was tasty, appetizing, and suited to contemporary sensibilities.
Our guide explained the modern history of the Ukraine, and we visited sites that explained the horrors caused by the Nazis, Soviets, and Russians. The synagogue was a wreck. I understand that the larger Jewish communities shifted to the capital and other southern cities, now in extreme danger.
Standard of living in Lviv was not up to that of Europe or the United States. However, construction and the presence of businesses catering to modern society popped up throughout the city. The inhabitants moved about with focus and purpose.
People I know express shock, anger, and sadness at the present war. However, the former President again uttered seditious comments which I am certain his base has chewed and spit out. The armed conflict will change the balance and nature of international relations.
I cannot imagine the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty of people who must run for their lives, with small children and the elderly.
Not only do I hope for the safety of the innocent and the bravery of the Ukrainian resisters, but I wish for Americans to realize that we too must remain vigilant for our Democracy, develop more sensitivity to those in distant lands, and appreciate the life we lead.
pictures from trip to Lviv, 2019; the children on left had lost a parent to the ongoing conflict with Russia
© 2022 Karen Levi