Reinscribing Schlesien as ŚŚląąsk: Memory and Mythology in a Postwar German-Polish Borderland

Demshuk, Andrew
April 2012
History & Memory;Spring/Summer2012, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p39
Academic Journal
The waves of ethnic cleansing in the 1930s and 1940s uprooted millions of East-Central Europeans and forced them to make sense of new surroundings. The Polish settlers who replaced over three million Germans in the borderland of Silesia created a layered palimpsest of new, generally nationalized meanings on an unfamiliar territory. After exploring how and why Polish leaders and settlers reinscribed formerly German and Jewish sites of memory with Polish meanings, this article investigates how, when former residents returned to visit their lost homeland, both populations confronted the palimpsest's conflicting layers and unwittingly engaged in a transnational exchange of meanings.


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