„I cannot reword“

In September of the year 1981, I waited with my parents and my little brother in front of an old, slightly dented Mercedes. I was six years old. Three suitcases were loaded. The Mercedes was a taxi that was supposed to take us from our apartment in Toruń, Poland, which is located northwest of Warsaw, to the train station in the evening twilight. From there, a train would take us to Poznań and then another one to Germany, to this much-talked-about dreamland. It was significant to my parents that it was a shiny white and long Mercedes, a rare car in the Eastern Bloc, and who knows where the driver got it from. My father jokingly said that we were already in the West, as it was not a Fiat Polski! None of those standardized boxes that usually rolled down the streets and came in two versions. There was the big Fiat Polski and the small Fiat Polski, and they were, after all, the most elegant cars in the East, made by Italians and…Polen gemeinsam designt. In den kleinen, den „Maluch“, für den man keinesfalls größer sein sollte als einen Meter siebzig, hatten meine Eltern eingezahlt, sie erwarteten seine Auslieferung, die ein Jahrzehnt später erfolgen sollte. Nun wollten sie nicht mehr warten. Und so standen wir also vor dem Mercedes.