The Mall at Vinnitsa

Victory over Fascism, encore. Impossible to forget the war, whose monuments co-exist, here as elsewhere with fast food and crumbling post-Soviet architecture. Here, as elsewhere, I was forced to confront histories that I originally felt had nothing to do with my quest. I was returning in my mind to locations as they might have existed in the late nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth. Only later, when we talked with an inhabitant of Bratslav, whose family had not emigrated when mine did, did I begin to understand the layers of time and suffering that had intervened, and the profound naivete of my fantasy of return.

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