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02 May 2007


My travels made me face the facts: the people I portray are an endangered species. One such member of that species is this man, who lives about 50 meters away from the Czech border, which in this area is marked by a creek.

(The second photograph is my daughter’s.)

There used to be a farming community across the creek. After the Russians took over and the other side became communistic, a five kilometer-wide buffer zone was established at the border; all houses in the zone had to be destroyed, and all the people who lived there had to go. Meanwhile, Germany began installing electricity and running water in outlying homes. But because he lived far from the public road, plumbing and electricity would cost extra. He and his mother refused to pay. They never got any electricity or running water. He just collects wood for the fire; the entire house is filled with it. He was kind of a strange guy, but a lovely man with a very basic life.

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