Tag Archives: holocaust

The Pianist

This autobiographical tale by Władysław Szpilman is another staggering account of the holocaust, this one by a Polish Jew. A nationally known concert pianist living in a Jewish area of Warsaw with his parents, brother and two sisters, after the Germans … Continue reading

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Warsaw (part thereof)

The Nazis and the Soviets between them really made a mess of this town. In late July 1944, as the Red Army reached the east bank of Warsaw’s river, the Vistula, they called on the people of Warsaw to rise … Continue reading

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east

On Saturday night, Lublin is rocking – more even than Krakow. The old town – a few cobbled streets and a medieval square – is jammed with people partying out loud in sweltering heat. A punk band blasts cacophony from … Continue reading

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This Way for The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Tadeusz Borowski, who wrote these stories, lived through Auschwitz somehow, and left sharply told tales of hell behind. There is nothing to say about them by way of commentary; they just need to be read. But his guilt (one has … Continue reading

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earth do not cover their blood

From the moment the bus stops, Auschwitz and Birkenau, 67 and a half years to the day after their liberation, are heaving with guided tour groups in a Babel of languages. The story goes on and on: three-and-a-half almost relentless … Continue reading

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Kraków

Kraków is a fine, bustling city with bags of self-confidence and plenty to be proud about. Here are the tombs of the Polish kings – something like the tombs of the Kings of Gondor in the Lord of the Rings. … Continue reading

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Prague: the Jewish quarter

It only takes so long looking at the pretty face of central Europe before you are bound to end up staring at the screaming, searing wound gouged across it: the treatment of the Jews. It was bad enough before the … Continue reading

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