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Kazimierz – My Personal Story

30.06.2021 - 17:30 / start: Cheder, ul. Józefa 36

Dancing with the shadows. I danced with the shadows when I entered the gates of the Jewish Town of Kazimierz for the first time and I am still dancing with the shadows after thirty-three years of the Festival’s existence. The hasidim say that there are three ways to deal with sadness after the death of your loved ones: you can close yourself off from the world and petrify, you can cry and pray with your tears as there are no words to express pain and lastly, you can sing and dance.

I must say that this third way is the hardest, but there is no other one for me, however I discovered it years later, especially after finally realizing that although bodies burn, souls do not. I walked and walked and walked, and I danced, sang and danced and walked around the empty town during the day, I walked in the footsteps that glow at night, I danced in the dark gates where fire had burnt, I breathed in the smoke from abandoned houses and the sweet, cool air at the Tempel synagogue. If any of you would like to walk with me on the road between “yesterday” and “today”, in a sense along the road of the Festival and my life, if someone would like to get to know the places and characters of the Jewish Town of Kazimierz which no longer exist but which are in me, if you are not afraid of stories about life and death, but above all about life – please feel most welcome to join me.

Janusz Makuch

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