Witold’s Blog

The Spectacle of the Nobel Prize in Literature

I shouldn't complain about the Nobel Prize in literature. Polish writers received this prestigious award five times, and, by the numbers, we are in the top of so distinguished countries. Not bad. But when you think about the idea of rewarding a person for being the...

Growing up under the Communism in Poland

In 1953 March 6th happened on Friday. When I came to the class in the morning, I saw my third-grade teacher sitting at her desk, head buried in the hands, crying. We sensed a personal tragedy, and not knowing how to react, quietly took our seats. She then looked on us...

Cardiac Pacemakers

My uncle died in Poland during the implant of his permanent pacemaker. At that time I was a medical student, and I thought I should be able to understand why did it happen. I couldn't, and I still don't. A few years later I came to this country and started doing the...

Why?

Czesława Kwoka was 14 years old. On the arrival, they tattooed number 26947 on her left forearm. Then they took her picture. Not before the guard beat her up with a club. The Germans had sent the girl and her mother to Auschwitz to be exterminated. Both came from the...

Downsizing

While they were getting older, I realized my parents' future looked grim in Poland. The communism maintained its tight grip on the economy and politics. The unrest past the brewing point and spilled on the streets. Everyday survival got to be a challenge. Moreover,...

Mongrel dogs have the best of their progenitors

Mongrel. What’s an awful name for a dog. A dog not belonging to any recognizable tribe of dogs. A product of an accident. Incidental dog. Oops-dog. Dog-pariah. My dog-loving nature shakes with horror. I go to a local bakery often and frequently ask for a bagel. The...