July 30, 2014

from Robin Lustig ...

 

In a far corner of the “new” Jewish cemetery (opened 1902) in the Polish city of Wrocław, Piotr Gotowicki is hacking away at the thick ivy that has grown over a gravestone lying flat on the ground.

 

It’s not just any old gravestone, as Piotr knows...

July 30, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

Poland was so extensively devastated during World War II that it can seem a 65-year-old visitor to the country is nearly the oldest thing standing, particularly in the “Old Towns” of Warsaw and Wroclaw where meticulously faithful replicas of flatten...

July 30, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

Like most tourists visiting Europe, Robin Lustig and I set out on our current trip to Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Germany in search of the old. We sought to retrace the journeys of our forbearers as they fled their homes for safety and opportunit...

July 27, 2014

 

from Robin Lustig

 

A sun-dappled meadow slopes gently down from the hilltop towards the city of Kaunas. The grass is freckled with yellow and purple wild flowers, a peaceful summer scene that belies an unimaginably brutal past.

 

On 29 November, 1941, my grandmother, Ils...

July 24, 2014

From Robin Lustig ...

 

What is it about railway stations that conjures up ghosts of the past? We’re standing on the platform in Pastavy (or Postavy), deep in the Belarussian countryside, almost exactly 100 years since Stu’s grandfather, Julius Seidel, stood on this sam...

July 24, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

One hundred years ago this year, my grandfather, Julius Seidel, then a 16-year-old boy, left his parent’s home in the Belorussian town of Postavy -- and he never looked back.

 

His mother, afraid of raising any suspicions, admonished him to act normal...

July 18, 2014

From Stu Seidel ...

 

About six months ago, my friend Robin Lustig and I started talking about doing some sort of project together. We had both recently left jobs, he from the BBC and me from NPR, and for the first time in more than 40 years, we each had the latitude to...

July 11, 2014

From Robin Lustig ...

 

London — So what’s this all about? Well, it seems that when some chaps get to a certain age, they start to wonder where they fit into the greater scheme of things. In my case, born to parents who were both refugees from Nazi Germany, looking back...

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