Short and intensely moving story of a Jewish child's experiences in World War 2 Poland. The first chapter describes a pleasant middle-class upbringing but ends 'less than one year later came September 1939 and it was all over'. From then on, the family is split up with the narrator travelling through Poland with his resourceful aunt, using false identity papers. Suspicious of everyone, careful of their every move, they pass themselves off as Catholic Poles and come close to losing their lives on a number of occasions. Yet even in the last chapter when the war is over, the lies must be kept up. Pogroms continue in liberated Poland and as Begley concludes: 'And where is Maciek now? He became an embarrassment and slowly died. A man who bears one of the names Maciek used has replaced him. Is there much of Maciek in that man? No: Maciek was a child and our man has no childhood that he can bear to remember; he has had to invent one.'
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