Prisoners of war

We should never take our daily bread for granted

In the seventh and final chapter of this small but lingeringly powerful book, the author reveals his motivation for writing it. His father, he explains, a Russian-born Yugoslav soldier, had been a prisoner of war of the Germans, part of a group consigned to do forced labour felling trees during the bitterly cold winter of 1942-43. One evening, freezing, starving and looking barely human, the group was stopped on the road back to camp by a stranger, a Protestant pastor who invited them into his house and, risking reprisals, nonetheless gave them a chance to warm up and eat some bread with a glass of wine. After the war, living