A Kidnapping In Poland

bohdan1If you get lost in the woods, leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Don’t stay out after dark. Don’t talk to strangers.

The schoolboy is walking along Warsaw’s ulica Naruszewicza with two friends. It is the afternoon of 22 January 1957. Snow is on the ground.

The three boys are on their way home from St Augustine High School for their dinners. St Augustine is a good private school, one of the very few in Communist Poland. Its students are the sons of important men.

The schoolboy is fifteen-years-old. His dark hair is combed back from his forehead in a pomaded shell. He carries his school books in a brown leather briefcase. He wears a herringbone overcoat and winter boots with white laces.

It is 13:50. At the intersection of Naruszewicza with ulica Wejnerta a tall man with a briefcase approaches the boys.

“Which one of you is Piasecki?”

The schoolboy steps forward. The man takes a piece of paper from his case and shows it to him. The schoolboy silently accompanies the man to a nearby taxi rank on Wejnerta. He does not look back at his friends.

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