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
1 Dramatis personae: History and Memory
Roots (up to 1939)
In order to write about identity and memory in any place, we need firstly to outline its history. I will therefore attempt to briefly sketch of the histories of the two towns, using scholarly works as well as statements of my interviewees. Before the Second World War, both Zhovkva and Krzyż were towns with very distinct identities, with their own specific dynamics that had, and continue to have, a substantial impact on the identity of the locality and its inhabitants.60 In the case of Zhovkva it was an identity of a historically multicultural town; for Krzyż, it was an identity of a modern, energetic society that had emerged thanks to the presence of a railroad: the quintessence of nineteenth-century progress.
Zhovkva was founded (as Żółkiew) at the end of the sixteenth century by Stanisław Żółkiewski, the Field Crown Hetman (i.e. the highest-ranking military commander) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was designed as an ideal Renaissance-era town: Paweł Szczęśliwy [Paul the Happy], a prominent architect of Italian origin, was commissioned to design the castle complex, the town walls and the Collegiate Church of St. Lawrence, the most important buildings in Żółkiewski’s vision. Żółkiew was granted town privileges in 1603, and from this time it enjoyed rapid advancement in both the economic and the cultural spheres, reaching a zenith in the second half of the seventeenth century. At this time, Żółkiew was the favorite residence of King Jan III Sobieski...
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