Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Freie Universitaet Berlin
July - October 2015
Abandoned, Expropriated, Lost? German Material Culture and Polish Reemigrants in Lower Silesia, 19451951
The proposed research examines the fate of German material culture in the socalled ‘Recovered Territories’ after WWII. It seeks to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between the German material heritage of Lower Silesia and its new Polish inhabitants, who were transferred there due to decisions made at the Yalta Conference. What was their attitude to this difficult legacy? What was the influence of the German material culture on the acclimatization and integration of the Polish reemigrants in their new homeland? What is its significance in the collective memory of the borderland residents? These questions will be addressed in the broader context of the policies of ‘nationbuilding’ and ‘repolonization’ that were implemented in this area by the postwar Polish communist government.
Anna Kawalko is a Graduate Student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She received her Bachelor of Arts from College of InterFaculty Individual Studies in the Humanities at the University of Warsaw in 2012. Her research interests include Jewish cultural property after 1945, ethnic cleansing in the XX century, PolishJewish relations in the aftermath of the Holocaust, and historical study of material culture. She is currently preparing her master’s thesis devoted to the German heritage in Lower Silesia after WWII.