Rose Ausländer. "Mutterland Wort".

As previously announced on our website, on the 19th of May the exhibition on the life and work of the German language poet Rose Auslander "Motherland Word" was opened in the entrance hall of the cinema "Chernivtsi". The exhibition, which is dedicated to Rose Auslander's 110th birthday, was organised by the Museum of the History and Culture of Bukovinian Jews and will last until the 31st of May.

The museum's director Mykola Kushnir officially opened the exhibiton addressing a wide audience of representatives of the Jewish community and Chernivtsi's cultural life, students, researchers and reporters. In his talk he stressed that the exhibition's opening was an exceptional event, because it is the first time that the museum shows a thematic temporary exhibition outside of the museum's premises. This is the beginning of a new area of work for the museum as more such exhibitions are to follow.

As well, Rose Auslander was a very exceptional person, both as one of the most famous German language poets of the second half of the 20th century, and as a Jewish woman whose life was typical for the thousands of Jews who lived in pre-war times in Chernivtsi in Bukovina and left their home land forever because of the historical circumstances, but kept warm feelings for this land in their hearts, or, as Rose Auslander, put them into poetry.
The exhibition's opening was even more symbolic because it took place in the former Jewish "Temple", which was heavily damaged in the beginning of July 1941 by the Nazis and turned into a cinema after the war. The unusual location of the exhibition next to modern Hollywood blockbusters is explained by the desire of the organizers to bring it as close as possible to the people of the city and first of all to the youth, who should know and respect Chernivtsi's multicultural tradition.

After short greeting words of representatives of the organizations who helped to organized the exhibition - the centre "Gedankendach" and "perspectiv.east" - there was an address by Vitalij Mykhailishyn, the secretary of the city council who is temporarily fulfilling the function of mayor. There were interesting and informative talks by Petro Rykhlo, an expert on German literature of Bukovina, translator and professor at Chernivtsi University and Oxana Matijchuk, a researcher of Rose Auslander's poems and lecturer at Chernivtsi University. The famous Chernivtsi poet Tamara Severnyuk gave a very touchy and poetic talk with a poem she had written especially for this occasion.

The exhibition consists of black-and-white photographs of the poet from different periods of her life, biographical texts and poems in German language which were provided by the German memorial foundation "Rose Auslander Stiftung" in Dusseldorf. It was complemented by Ukrainian translations of the biographical texts and poems, which were written by the organizers. All these materials are presented on ten large and four small display boards. An additional display board on Rose Auslander's life was developed by the museum using materials from the local archive. The arrangement of the exhibition creates the feeling of a separate space - a space of the poet's life from her birth to her death.

The exhibition

An interesting addition to the opening ceremony was a screening of a new documentary film about Rose Auslander which was shot in 2010 by the German director Katharina Schubert and shown in Chernivtsi for the first time. The film is in German language. However, for many visitors this was no big problem as they understand Yiddish - the language of their distant childhood. When Rose Auslander lived in Chernivtsi, Yiddish could be heard here even more often than German.

The organizers expect many Chernivtsi citizens and guests of the city to visit the exhibition, as the preparation for the exhibition was accompanied by an active PR-campaign in the mass-media and the Internet.