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Reconciliation in Bloodlands

Assessing Actions and Outcomes in Contemporary Central-Eastern Europe


Edited By Jacek Kurczewski

Central-Eastern Europe, in the mid-20 th century, was a scene of Holocaust, mass killings, war, deportations and forced resettlements under the competing totalitarian invasions and afterwards. It was also the area where churches, politicians and citizens were engaged in reconciliation between antagonized religions and nations. This book presents several attempts to heal relations between Poles, Jews, Germans, Czechs, Ukrainians, Russians and Latvians as well as between Catholics, Protestants and Mariavites. Re-conciliatory practices of John Paul II and other Catholic leaders as well as Protestant churches are analysed in the first part of the book. Most of the remaining studies are focused on particular localities in Upper Silesia, Cieszyn Silesia, former Polish Livland and on the Polish-Ukrainian borderland. These detailed contributions combine sociological methods with anthropological insight and historical context. The authors are sociologists, psychologists and theologians and this leads to a fully interdisciplinary approach in the assessment of the recent state of inter-group relations in the region as well as in the proposed theory of peacebuilding and reconciliation.
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Bloodlands à la longue durée – Introduction


This book is the collection of studies written as contribution to the better understanding of reconciliation as needed and attempted in the Central-Eastern Europe. Some of these studies relate what was prepared within the scope of the Antagonism and Reconciliation in Multi-Culureal Areas Project Grant NN116230436 of Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under my direction in years 2008-1012 (contributions by Czech, Fuszara, Gawkowska, Herman, Kasperek, Kurczewska, Rusek, Szymeczek, Volkov and Wojakowski). The project was finalized in form of two volumes in Polish (Różańska joined one of those) establishing in Polish sociology the empirical field of sociology of antagonism and reconciliation. First was called “Sociology of Reconciliation” (Kurczewski 2012) and presents the works of ad hoc symposium organized together with Oświęcim Academy during the 2011 Cracow Congress of Polish Sociological Association, while the second, titled “Antagonism and Reconciliation in Multi-Culural Areas” (Kurczewski and Herman 2012) focused in more detail on selected cases of antagonism. Bilewicz et al., Czyżewski and Śpiewak – each of whom was either academically or practically engaged in the reconciliation contributed for this particular volume. But even the earlier contributions were mostly rewritten in order to present the particular issue in the way that will allow to take it into consideration by readers from other areas of the world. Thirtieth anniversary of awarding Lech Wałęsa with Nobel Peace Prize is the proper occasion to reflect how the peaceful transformation of people in the direction of mutual tolerance and cooperation is proceeding...

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