Lost Treasures: The Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe The Lino Cuts of Bill Farran

Hrodna, Belarus - Original Linocut

Yiddish name: Grodne

Previous name, country: Grodno, Poland

The Bialystok district, of which Grodno became part, experienced a turbulent history. As a border region between Poles, Lithuanians, Russians and Ukrainians, it was often subject to military attack.

The Great Synagogue of Grodno was built from 1576 to 1580 by Santi Gucci, who designed a wooden synagogue at the invitation of Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe. It was built in the Jewish Quarter where Jews had lived for hundreds of years. It is believed that earlier there was a wooden synagogue on the same ground. In 1899, a huge fire in the city damaged the synagogue. The building was then renovated with the addition of wings, which changed its outward appearance.

Jews played a very significant role in city life as industrialists, merchants, craftsmen, owners of printing houses, doctors, and teachers. It was thought there was a special " Grodno Aura," that was created by its cultured and intelligent population. Thus, Grodno was considered to be one of the Jewish intellectual capitals of Europe.

According to Nazi records, 44,049 Grodno Jews from the city and neighboring townlets, were sent to the extermination camps. Early in 1942, a Jewish underground resistance, defense movement and Zionist movement were formed. Approximately 180 Jews remained hidden in the city and district until the town was liberated by the Soviet Army on July 14, 1944. Following its liberation, is believed that about 2,000 Jews resettled in Grodno over a period of years.

Purchase a print

Original linocut prints are 8x10 inches, and are available either unmatted or in an 11x14 matte.

I also offer matted 5x7 digital prints. These prints are created from high-res digital images and come in an 8x10 matte.

Print style & matting