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The Heritage

Siegfried Lenz
Date Published
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In The Heritage, first published in German in 1978, Zygmunt Rogalla, an elderly Masurian rug-maker from Lucknow – which was once part of East Prussia, now part of Poland – tells his story from a hospital bed. The curator of the Masurian museum, where objects were collected as a symbol of the culture that had been lost in the second world war and after, he is also its destroyer, his injuries self-inflicted. Through the remembrance of his sufferings, he explains why the museum was so important to him, and to his fellow exiles, and what terrible discovery led him to destroy not only his life’s greatest work, but the objects salvaged from his people’s lost past.