Tag Archives: Poland

Deutsche Bahn

The German train system is perhaps (the French would argue otherwise) Europe’s finest. It works well. And yet… The train from Poznań to Berlin was 20 minutes late at the border. In Frankfurt an der Oder, the first town on … Continue reading

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Poznan

Poznań is where they say Poland began, back in 966 when the first king converted to Christianity here. A cathedral marks the spot, built, strangely, of red brick (doesn’t that mean industry?) – yet perhaps not so strange when you … Continue reading

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Imperium

Ryszard Kapuściński was a Polish reporter who was sometimes accused of a certain, well, embellishment. It’s true that this astonishing book about the end of the Soviet empire has its moments of what might be described as magical journalism: a … 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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24 hours in Silesia

The small train from the Czech Republic came rattling through cool Sudeten mountain forests of silver birch into Poland, and then descended to the plains. When I was at school back in the 1970s I had a mental picture of … Continue reading

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