What do you say? Joshua Liebeskind?
No way! He is not Joshua at all!
He has gone cuckoo for sure.

His name is just Janek.
Not Liebeskind, but Klis.
That's how he was born.

All his Jewishness is just a hole in his head!

He was not here for a long time.
He lived almost all his life in the city.

Aniela took him there when she left the village.
She brought him up there alone like a mother.

Probably he wondered why in the papers stayed not Aniela but Genowefa, which was his grandmother's name.

Wonder how he did not even figure this out when he had to sign the papers after the old Klis passed away. Probably Aniela told him a lie again.

He came here after her death. To look after that Liebeskind.
Because Aniela confessed before she died that his documents were all wrong.
That his true father was one Liebeskind.

They kept him hidden on their farm during the German occupation.
And when that Liebeskind got killed, to prevent a disgrace, they wrote down in the registry that it was Aniela's mother who gave birth to Janek.

When Janek returned last time, everyone looked at him as if he was crazy.
The grandparents were dead, and nobody wanted to tell him anything.

When he said he had converted to Judaism, many people did not even want to talk to him.
Nobody would tell him anything because he would probably go crazy from that entire story. Well, maybe not, because to begin with, he is not quite normal anyway.

You know. We knew that Liebeskind before the war.
He was a teacher at the elementary school here.
He came here just a year before the war.
Supposedly, right after passing the teacher's exams and this was his first job.
So young and handsome. There were plenty of women who had a good eye for him.

He was also in the ghetto when the Germans ordered all Jews to live there, but he managed to escape when they began to empty the ghetto of people.

He came to us into the village.
The Klis family knew him because the Klis woman sometimes cleaned up at his station. So he stayed with them.
Everybody in the village knew it, but all held their mouths shut.

Who denounced him? Nobody did!
The old Klis chopped him down!

How did it happen?
As this Liebeskind was hiding with them, Aniela insisted that he would teach her better reading and writing. The old Klis immediately was against it. She finished her four classes education, so why does she need more?
But Aniela pleaded with her mother, and together they turned her dad around.

Everything was fine for a while.
Aniela was so happy that one could hear her joyful singing all over the village.

Until the old Klis saw what had begun to grow from all that teaching! What a shame!

That Liebeskind ran away screaming from Klis.
He tried to explain that they loved each other and that he wanted to marry Aniela.
But old Klis did not listen and chopped him up almost in front of all the villagers.

No. The case was never brought to court.
Everyone in the village knew why it had happened. And no one mentioned it.

Only Aniela was very unhappy and cried a lot.
Because she had an eye on him since he was a teacher here.
She said he did not want it at first because he was afraid of what could happen, but their love weakened all his resistance.

She even wanted to kill herself, so they had to keep her locked up in a shed for a month. Then they arranged that the child would be known as her mother's, for decency cause.

Aniela never wanted another man, and she left for the city immediately after the war.
Together with Janek. Supposing that it would be easier for the old Klis' to farm without the burden of a little child.

And it stayed that way.

She and Janek did not visit the village very often.
Janek was never too eager to see his grandparents.
And he was always wary of the old Klis.
As if he felt that something was not right.

So why tell him all this?
Just to make him even more confused?

So better let it be as it is...

Alex Wieseltier - Uredte tanker
Alle rettigheder forbeholdes 2019
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