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Displaced Memories

Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine

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Anna Wylegała

The book is a comparative case study of collective memory in two small communities situated on two Central-European borderlands. Despite different pre-war histories, Ukrainian Zhovkva (before 1939 Polish Żółkiew) and Polish Krzyż (before 1945 German Kreuz) were to share a common fate of many European localities, destroyed and rebuilt in a completely new shape. As a result of war, and post-war ethnic cleansing and displacement, they lost almost all of their pre-war inhabitants and were repopulated by new people. Based on more than 150 oral history interviews, the book describes the process of reconstruction of social microcosm, involving the reader in a journey through the lives of real people entangled in the dramatic historical events of the 20th century.

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Contents

Introduction

Beginnings: Questions, Inspirations, Objectives

Theories: Memory, Politics and Forgetting

In the Field: Methods and Methodology

1 Dramatis personae: History and Memory

Roots (up to 1939)

War and Other Misfortunes (1938–1945)

Brave New World (1945–1953)

The Post-war Culture of (Non-)Remembrance (1953–1989/1991)

After the Fall of Communism: New Beginnings? (1989/1991-present)

2 Resettlement and the First Phase of Adaptation

The Journey: Autobiographical Memory and its Transmission

Fear, Violence, Poverty: After Arrival

Yearning, Temporariness, Alienation

3 The Creation of a New Community and Social Integration

Relations with the Authorities and the New Political System

To Build Everything Anew, or the Social Wild West

The Long-term Consequences of Post-war Divisions: Integration Processes Among the Younger Generations

4 Resettlement and Identity

Returning Home – the Last Stage of the Psychological Integration Process

People Make a Place a Home: “Who would I return to?”

The Former Homeland as an Element of Identity: “It’s good that we know these things.”

The Lost Homeland and Crippled Identity: “A person is always attached to their homeland.”

No Need for Homeland: “Why would we go there?”

The Old Homeland in the Consciousness of the Younger Generations

Gains and Losses – Who Came Through Migration Successfully?

5 Remembering the Absent: Germans and German Heritage in Krzyż

Settlers vs. Germans: Memories of the Oldest Generation

Before our Grandparents: Memory Among the Younger Generations

The Germans Today: Castaways, Tourists, Litigants?

Around Material Heritage

German Heritage and Identity

6 Remembering the Absent: Jews and Jewish Heritage in Zhovkva

Life and Death Among Neighbors

Hearsay: What do the Resettlers Know about Zhovkva’s Jews?

Family (Non-)Memory: The Next Generations

Foreign Heritage

Survivors, Ghosts, Visitors

7 Remembering the Absent: Poles and Polish Heritage in Zhovkva

Once upon a Time in Poland

Times of Threat

Emigration, Expulsion, Marginalization

“Now it is OK”

Material and Symbolic Heritage

8 Between Heroes and Traitors: The UPA and the Soviets in Zhovkva

Bandits or Heroes? Troubled Autobiographical Memories

Pride and Prejudice: Ukrainian Nationalists in Collective Memory

“Liberators” and Liberators – or Two Types of Soviets

Stalinism, Stabilization, Veterans: Memories of Soviet Zhovkva

Heroes and Traitors: Summary

9 A Land Without Heroes: Problems of the Memory Canon in Krzyż

Good Russians and Bad Russians: Autobiographical Memory

The Soviets in the Memories of the Younger Generations

Krzyż and Zhovkva: A Comparison of Heroic Canons

Postscriptum: Symbolic Space

Conclusions

Memories of Resettlement

Memories of Absent Others

Memories of Heroes

Between Memory and Forgetting

Memories of the Past and Collective Identity

Biographical Index of Respondents

Zhovkva

Krzyż

Bibliography

Index