Insights and Perspectives
The Great War in local perspectives in the Central Europe
The study of publications related to the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War may give the impression that in the European cultural memory the experience related to the events in the west of the continent is more vivid than the experience related to East-Central Europe. Moreover, it may seem that this western viewpoint is dominant not only in media but quite often also in scholarly debates.
The objective of our large-scale, inter-disciplinary project was to approximate local perspectives and to study the Great War through the prism of archive resources stored in locations that today belong to Poland – a country which was not on the map of Europe when the war broke out and which revived in 1918. The citizens of this future state were often forced to fight against their compatriots who were conscripted to foreign armies like other inhabitants of Eastern and Central Europe such as Jews, Ukrainians, Czechs. The war in the east had a more direct impact on daily life of civilian communities which went through the terror of occupation, changes of the frontline, passage of armies. Additionally, the conduct of allied armies also affected the local communities’ ordeal.
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