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POSTCARD FROM PRESSBURG-BRATISLAVA
Bratislava is Pressburg is Pozsony.
For me it is Pressburg.
My teacher Mr. Wurm from the grade school
took a class photo from his drawer and pointed:
this one was a Nazi and these two also. That one
was especially cruel. This one died in Russia
and this one was deported. Which Jewish students
survived and are still alive – I don’t know.
Pressburg was a trilingual city. The fourth language
is silence.
Have there ever been limits to evil?
Pressburg lies next to the Danube, at the edge of a Carpathian range.
Near the cathedral was the Neologists’ synagogue in a sort of Moorish style.
Fish Market Square stretches out below
and the Street of the Jews began above it. The Danube flows as always.
I’m old. I can only move forward slowly.
I was born in Pressburg. I had a mother, a father and a sister.
I had, it seems to me, a small, happy childhood in Pressburg.
Once the entire Danube froze.
The Celts built a fortress here, as did the princes of
greater Moravia. The Romans called the place
Possonium. A very old city
so old I don’t know it any more.
Farewell, my love, it’s hard to imagine.