Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine
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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- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019. 380 pp.
- Title Page
- Copyright Page
- Note on Translation, Transliteration and Names
- About the author
- About the book
- Citability of the eBook
- 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 Adaptation136
- 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 Krzyż219
- 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 Zhovkva251
- 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 Zhovkva310
- 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
- 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
Beginnings: Questions, Inspirations, Objectives
On the outer wall of my family home in Krzyż – the German town of Kreuz (Ostbahn) before 1945 – it is possible to discern a Cyrillic inscription scraped onto one of the red bricks: “Zubov.” It was only when I became interested in the history of the town that I realized that this graffiti was probably carved by a Red Army soldier in the winter of 1945, when the Soviets “liberated” Kreuz on the way to their victorious advance on Berlin. I do not know who Zubov was; I have no way of finding out whether he met the previous owners of my home. But it was this inscription that kept returning to my mind as I wrote this book, a work devoted in most part to the memory of the Others who vanished from their (now our) homes: Germans from the Polish “Recovered Territories” [pl. Ziemie Odzyskane], and Poles and Jews from Western Ukraine.
This book, however, was initially supposed to be about something completely different. The research that I embarked on in 2007 was focused on collective memory in Ukrainian Galicia, a region I already knew, having spent time studying at the University of Lviv. I chose to look at the town of Zhovkva, situated between Lviv and the Polish border. I had been there for the first time in 2000. A further visit – a study trip with students from Lviv – gave me the idea that a town with...
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