GERMANY: The Prisoner in the Attic

As the most prominent and prosperous farmer in the district, former Mayor Johannes Steenbock occupies one of the handsomest houses in the tiny Schleswig-Holstein village of Bark. Its tall, sloping roof covers two attic floors and provides frequent shelter for refugee farmworkers streaming into Germany from the Russian-held East. The refugees, like Farmer Steenbock's large family, find plenty of room on the lower floor and seldom, if ever, visit the attics.

An anonymous letter-writer—presumably a refugee who had wandered upstairs—recently wrote health officials in nearby Bad Segeberg, urging them in horror to hurry out and take a look in a...

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