בין מיתוסים לאומיים לזיכרונות פרטיים. חומרים חדשים לחקר היסטוריה של אזורי הספר הפולניים-גרמניים לאחר 1945 - אנה הולצר–קוואלקו

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.

ראה גם: תשע"ח