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Reconciliation in Bloodlands

Assessing Actions and Outcomes in Contemporary Central-Eastern Europe

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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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Latvian-Russian Relations in Daugavpils Since 1991

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The multi-ethnic structure of the population in Latvia has been formed historically. By the beginning of the second millennium AD, the Baltic tribes, the Finno-Ugrian tribes (Livs) as well as the Slavic tribes lived on the territory of modern Latvia. From the end of the 12th century, the crusaders penetrated this territory and they annexed the territory of Latvia to the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and then later to the Livonian Order. On this territory, this determined the outcome of the Germans, who became the ruling class, while the Latvians- serfs.

Since the 16th century, the territory of Latvia was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, enabling the formation of an influential Polish aristocracy on this territory. The Russian administration appeared due to inclusion of the Latvian territory into the structure of the Russian Empire, the result of the Great Northern War, and the result of the Partitions of Poland in 1772 and 1795. The accelerated growth of the Russian population was determined by the industrialization that began in the second half of the 19th century: by the beginning of World War I there were 300 thousand Russians residing on this territory (12% of the total population). On November 18, 1918 Latvians founded their own independent state where the share of the Latvian population exceeded 75% of the total population. According to the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union (signed on August 23, 1939), Latvia fell in the Soviet Union’s sphere of interest and in...

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