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Feliks Opolski

Feliks Opolski photography by B. Ostrowska
 

In the summer of 1987 I left Poland. The country was fragmented; political anarchy combined with economic crisis didn’t give us any hope for affluent nor interesting life. The political struggle was exciting for those who were actively engaged in it, either by chance or by lacking other skills. For others it meant never-ending existential sufferings. Depressive atmosphere of uncertainty and even hostility was contagious. I had only one life and I didn’t want to threw it “on the rampart”. Against the Germans, maybe, but on the both side of the barricade I saw only Poles. This fight, as we all know, is still taking place, even in 2015.

I accepted an invitation to participate in one-month internship at the Rotterdam clinic, being my passageway to the West. Soon my wife took my daughter to a pretended trip to Spain and joined me. We met in Belgium and we asked for political asylum there.

Our request was rejected and we ended up in Germany due to our origin. Grandfather Franz got an iron cross during WWI So we were granted permanent residence in FRG (before reunification with GDR).

I returned to Poland in 2012. I had several reasons to do so: my family fell apart due to tragic events, I suffered a mental shock and, thus, I overvalued many things in my life. At the same time Europe witnessed great and unexpected changes: the fall of the Berlin Wall, reunification of Germany, political transformation in Poland. And finally... I fell in love -
in Poland!

But above all there was this unfulfilled dream of being a writer. There was a time when I thought I could write in German. However, reality made me soon realize that it was too late for me, that I was born and I will die with Polish language on my lips. So why not get back to its sources!


Feliks decided to collect his experiences in a piece titled “Emigration étude” comprising the following poems.

Etiuda emigracyjna
The Fall
Stranger among the generous
An Ode to a Gutter
​Tu be or nicht zu sein…
A Supervalue Concept