Nonfiction | December 10, 2012

When I was growing up war always hovered somewhere in the background. I was born after the Second World War ended, but for a long time, at least until the early ’60s, its presence was still palpable. We lived in an apartment building that had survived the fighting, though the one next to it hadn’t, and some ruins still remained. All over town there was rubble. When I was very little, I still heard warnings of kids finding unexploded bombs and being blown up. Soon most of the ruined buildings were bulldozed, but their underground cellars filled with bricks and debris were perfect places to play. The braver and older among us would explore them and tell hair-raising tales about skeletons and ghosts in Nazi uniforms.

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