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My grandfather, who finally came back from the second world war in 1981

Katja Petrowskaja gained a grandfather when she was 10. He turned up after an absence of 40 years – but where had he been? And had he done or seen something so horrific it made it impossible for him to return? She resolved to find out

I had two grandmothers with floral names: Rosa and Margarita. They were too old to enjoy their retirement, and they were alone. What I didn’t have were grandfathers. One had died on my second birthday and I don’t remember him. The other, Vasily, suddenly appeared when I was about 10, out of nowhere, with the words: “I am back.”

Until that point, I hadn’t known about his existence, so I was astonished, amused and happy to get a grandfather.

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