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We are on the Polish-German border during the final stages of World War II. A German woman fell madly in love with a Polish man. At that time it was unthinkable to have any kind of relationship between people belonging to enemy nations; violating the rule would have led to immediate arrest if not even to murder, if this had been discovered. The woman became pregnant and, in order to carry the pregnancy, she was forced to hide the result of their love, at that time, forbidden. The war came to an end and she was imprisoned together with all the other German citizens. Once in the camp she gave birth to a little girl (the author’s mother), a child that the woman was forced to give up because of the very poor and precarious living conditions in which she lived. After the end of the world conflict, the European borders were redrawn and German citizens were expelled from the Polish territories giving life to a real exodus, a phenomenon to which we are now sadly accustomed. The woman, hoping to be reunited with her daughter, decided to stay, acquiring Polish citizenship and renouncing her entire family, barbarously expelled from Poland. For her, life in her new homeland was extremely difficult. Erna Helena Ania is presented as a diary, a complex object composed of different languages, which reflects and investigates the troubled and dramatic history of a woman, punctuated by countless renunciations. The woman was forced to give up her identity, her country and her family in order to remain true to herself and cultivate her love.
Tomassz Laczny, Erna Helena Ania
Blow Up Press, 2020
15,5 × 22,5 cm