By Christopher Impiglia
For my great-grandparents, as it was for most immigrants of their generation, the past was a hindrance. It was all about the future. A new life with new appliances and new cars and new names. Nothing old, as the old carried with it the weight of oppressive regimes, poverty, and social immobility.
Translated by James McFarlane and Kathleen McFarlane
On a calm winter morning, on 4th January, 1761, a company of five men, clad for a journey, were rowed out from the Tollbooth into the shipping roads off Copenhagen.
Translated by Frederika Randall
They caught her because she made a mistake. For months she had sailed right through their nets with her false passport, her bleached hair, her little heart-shaped medal reworked as a cross, her Polish spoken like a Pole and even her school-taught German spoken badly as only the Poles in Slesia did.
Translated by Sean Bye
It was right before the war, and we’d put all the poverty and deprivation of the Great Depression behind us. The whole economy was doing better, hardly anyone was unemployed, they’d get jobs building the Autobahn or could get permits to work abroad. The craftspeople in town got plenty of commissions.
I was a sort of upstairs-downstairs person in the crew. My role as journalist and anthropologist afforded me precious access to both worlds.
Translated by Julia Sanches
She continues to divine the future—more so than the past, which she has almost completely forgotten. She has herself turned into Linka, the gypsy from Debrecen. Her Jewishness is a mixture of faith and superstition; a religion she has partly invented herself.