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Thomas Urban was a correspondent for the major German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung in Warsaw and Moscow from 1988 to 2012 and was an eyewitness to the great upheavals in Eastern Europe. He is the author of books on the history of this part of Europe, including the Berlin years of Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov, on German and Polish footballers as objects of Nazi and Communist propaganda, and is the co-author of a biography on Pope John Paul II.