Ania Bielecka trailed after her parents, savoring the marvelous beauties of Planty Park in the balmy summer morn. The sun filtered through the mighty birch trees, and sniffing the air, she detected the faint aroma of newly baked pretzels sold close by. Flowers carefully cultivated grew in plots and fringed the pathway from the park to the Main Market Square in the center of the city, where they were heading. Krakow was nicknamed “Little Rome,” for its numerous churches and though there were a couple situated closer to their cottage, it was her parents’ preference to attend Mass in St. Mary’s Basilica.
“It may be summer, but I can feel autumn in the air.” Papa observed off-handedly and Mama’s head bobbed in agreement.
On entering the square, which was customarily teeming with life, Ania could almost imagine the war had never happened. In regards to architecture, their beloved city had largely remained unaffected by the Nazis.
The same cannot be said about the citizens. Ania frowned, but kept her thoughts to herself. Their part of Poland had been liberated by the Nazis’ stronghold in January, only to be replaced by a Soviet stronghold. Their Communistic grip tightened like a noose with each passing day.