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The Other Side of the Wall | Note 34

“Why did they go there… Why did they go?” My grandma is sitting in her 1960s armchair with worn upholstery. The living room of her summer cottage is both a museum of socialist Poland and her extensive travels to the USSR. She is asking the question to which she knows the answer. She knows why. But how all of it was allowed to happen is still incomprehensible.

I shake my head because I understand even less. What were they thinking, then, in 1939, when they decided to come to Warsaw? And then, a year later, when the gates were closed and they stayed on the inside? Did it feel like they had a choice? Did they know what was coming?

“We never spoke about it,” says Grandma, looking nowhere in particular, or perhaps many decades into the past. “And she must remember. She must remember it all.”

Grandma’s best friend, Mrs H.P., doesn’t come to the cottage anymore. It wasn’t long ago that... continue reading now →


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