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Internal Migrations in Poland

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Edited By Łukasz Skoczylas and Elżbieta Smolarkiewicz

The aim of this book is to highlight the issue of internal migrations and emphasise the need to conduct research on their course and consequences, including those stemming from historical processes. The complexity of this topic is illustrated by the fact that the chapters contained in the book have been written by representatives of different disciplines: sociology, psychology, geography and economics, which may suggest the need for interdisciplinary research to be conducted in the future.

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Forced migrations and the memory of them. On a monument commemorating Poles exiled from Greater Poland during the Second World War

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Abstract: The text describes an initiative for erecting a monument to Poles exiled from their homes and, in many cases, from Greater Poland by the occupational German authorities during the Second World War. This initiative is a part of a wider reflection on commemorating migrations. The chapter also presents the story of this monument initiative and some data acquired during in-depth individual interviews with three members of the Committee for Erecting the Monument to the Exiled.

Keywords: collective memory, forced migrations, commemoration

This text has been divided into four parts. The first one presents my deliberations on the ways we can commemorate migrations. The second part describes the idea and the fate of a monument commemorating Poles exiled from Greater Poland during the Second World War. The third part presents data gathered during in-depth interviews with members of a committee responsible for erecting the monument. The fourth part is a summary: it places the commemoration initiative discussed against the background of the earlier reflections on how migration functions in the collective memory.

Collective memory and migrations

Migrations pose a challenge to the ethnic and national relations developed for years in a given area. They also tend to be problematic for the regional or local identity, which especially pertains to internal migrations. The memory of migrations is a threat to national myths, often serving as a form of sanctioning the existent political system, stereotypes and autostereotypes, which have allowed for building...

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