By Philippe Sands
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Additional resources for East West Street
We entered the building. On the first floor, an elderly man answered our knock, Yevgen Tymchyshn, born there in 1943, he told us, during German rule. The Jews had gone, he added. The apartment was empty. Inviting us in, his friendly yet shy wife proudly showed us around the extended single room that was the couple’s home. We drank black tea, admired pictures on the wall, talked of the challenges of modern Ukraine. Behind the tiny kitchen at the back of the house was a small balcony, where Yevgen and I stood.
Another man with an interest in the trial was not there that day. Rafael Lemkin listened to the judgment on a wireless, from a bed in an American military hospital in Paris. A public prosecutor and then a lawyer in Warsaw, he fled Poland in 1939, when the war broke out, and eventually reached America. There he worked with the trial’s American prosecution team, alongside the British. On that long journey, he carried a number of valises, each crammed with documents, among them many decrees signed by Frank.
Today Szeptyckich Street is known as Sheptyts’kykh Street, close to St. George’s Cathedral. To walk there, we circled Rynok Square, admired fifteenth-century merchants’ houses, passed city hall and the Jesuit cathedral (which was shuttered during the Soviet era, used as an archive and book depository), then into a nondescript square in front of St. George’s, from which the Nazi governor of Galicia, Dr. ” No. 12 was a two-story late-nineteenth-century building, with five large windows on the first floor, next to a building with a large Star of David spray painted onto a wall.