Many Australians make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli, and I have one great-grandfather who fought in that campaign and survived. But while I’d like to go there, the place I am going to tomorrow means more to me than visiting Gallipoli. I’ve always known where Gallipoli was, and have been free to go at any time. But since the mid-1970s, I’ve known of a different place connected to another of my great-grandfathers without actually knowing its precise location. Two years ago, I learned of this place’s whereabouts: a little village in Poland, which, until 1945, was in Germany. There was a castle in this village, and it was called Schosdorf, and my great-grandfather spent his youth there in the custody of his uncle, the Dresden banker, Robert Thode. My ancestor came from wealthy stock. It was from here that he left for Australia, and some could well ask why he did this.
We cross the border tomorrow into Poland, and there is a possibility that the sim card for our iPad will not work there. If this is so, you will not hear from me until at least next Tuesday.