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I had known him almost all my life, Beniek

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He lived around the corner from us, in our neighborhood in Wrocław, composed of rounded streets and three-story apartment buildings that from the air formed a giant eagle, the symbol of our nation. There were hedges and wide courtyards with a little garden for each flat, and cool, damp cellars and dusty attics. It hadn’t even been twenty years since any of our families had come to live there. Our postboxes still said ‘Briefe’ in German. Everyone – the people who’d lived here before and the people who replaced them – had been forced to leave their home. From one...

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