Between Dissonance and Convergence: The Dynamics of Interactions Between Vernacular and Official (Non-) Memories of the Mass Murder of Germans by Poles in Nieszawa
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Jagiellonian University
Publication date: 2017-03-24
Polish Sociological Review 2017;197(1):83-94
Nieszawa, which is situated in northern Poland, is unique in the history of Polish-German relations. In 1945 local Polish militiamen murdered a group of German civilians there. In 2000, after decades of public silence about this crime, the leaders of the local community decided to commemorate the victims. In this article, the mutual influence of three kinds of (non-)memory of the crime—national official, local official, and vernacular— are analyzed. In conclusion, some of the factors are identified that make members of a group that mistreated “Others” accept the truth about the event and acknowledge the need to discuss it publicly.
I would like to thank Professor Marek Kucia, for helpful suggestions and critical comments.
This article is based on research within the project “Social mechanisms of remembering and forgetting mass murders committed by Poles on members of other ethnic groups. A comparative study of two local communities” funded by the National Science Centre Poland [Narodowe Centrum Nauki]. The funds were allocated on the basis of decision no. DEC-2013/09/N/HS6/00435
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