Dominic Sandbrook

The Curtain Falls

1946: The Making of the Modern World

By

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On 1 July 1946, an eight-year-old boy called Henryk Blaszczyk went missing from his home in Kielce, central Poland. His panic-stricken parents went to the police, but two days later little Henryk turned up with a basket of cherries, having gone on an epic expedition to pick fruit from the family’s old house some twenty kilometres away. Frightened of getting into trouble, however, Henryk concocted a story about having been kidnapped by Jews. The police investigated, quickly realised that the boy was lying and gave him a stern telling-off. In the meantime, however, the news had got out.

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