POLAND: Asylum Granted

Towards the end of May, the 16,000-ton Polish luxury liner Batory moved into drydock at Hebburn-on-Tyne. That night the British harbor pilot, Harry Leslie, had dinner with cheery, gold-toothed Captain Jan Cwiklinski in his two-room suite below the bridge. But when Leslie went back on board two weeks later, the captain was missing. "The officers gave me to understand he was sick on shore," he said, "but . . . there was a studied avoidance of any mention of him."

Word spread through Tyneside's grimy dockland that Cwiklinski—Captain Jan, some called him—had gone ashore to see a movie, The Cruel...

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