This paper seeks to discuss the implications of the sociopolitical transformation that took place in the Eastern Europe after 1989 for the current historiography of territorial changes, creation of homogenous nationstates and expulsion of German minorities from the Eastern European countries in the aftermath of WWII. Specifically, it will present and examine some new sources for the study of the postwar everyday life in PolishGerman borderlands particularly Lower Silesia that in the past two decades were collected from the Polish inhabitants of these areas by various archives and educational institutions in Poland.
The former Prussian province of Lower Silesia was annexed by Poland in 1945, when- as a result of the postwar peace treaties - Poland lost its eastern borderlands to the Soviet Union and moved about two hundred kilometers westward, having gained the eastern territories of Germany as compensation. In 19451947, majority of German inhabitants of these areas were expelled and replaced by Polish citizens. However, in this twoyear period, many of the socalled Polish repatriates from the East lived together with “eastern” Germans that were still awaiting verification process and deportation.
The paper focuses on the relations between Polish and German expellees as depicted in the post1989 materials, based mainly on the private memories of the Polish inhabitants of Lower Silesia. Simultaneously, it compares this picture to that stemming from testimonies prepared by the Polish communist authorities in the 1960s in an attempt to reinscribe the annexed areas as a Polish national space and reinforce one of the most powerful postwar Polish master narratives the myth of the socalled “Recovered Territories”. While juxtaposing these two sometimes complementary but often competitive corpuses, the paper aims to illuminate how the post1989 transformation influenced the historical sources available to the researchers today, and to critically evaluate the significance of these new materials for the study of PolishGerman borderlands after 1945.