We visited Krakow university where Mietek completed his law degree and I casually stepped into the law college building with an air of "I've been here before" so as to not raise suspicion. I ran my hand up the balustrade of the stone staircase trying to feel the hands of the hundreds of thousands of students who had rushed to classes up the stairs, including my grandfather. I listened to lectures outside a closed door and sat with students in a courtyard as they joked with each other and chain-smoked.
Mietek was unable to practice law after he graduated due to antisemitism, and worked instead in his father's business in the heart of Krakow, just off the main square.
Reminder dear readers that Mietek was the grandfather I knew until I learned the truth in my teens (see sidebar to the right).
|The stairs of the Law college at Krakow University|
Juwenalia was in full swing in Krakow - for three days students celebrate before exams, and are given the keys to the city by the mayor. Beer, mirth and laughter filled the alley ways and winding cobble stoned streets and the large squares. I imagined that Mietek must have also dressed in some wild costume and consumed copious amounts of beer as Nana had told me of his reputation for pranks and mischief.