Journal Article

Recent Debates on the Fate of the German Population in Upper Silesia 1945–1950

Bernard Linek

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 372-405
Published in print July 2004 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online July 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI:
Recent Debates on the Fate of the German Population in Upper Silesia 1945–1950

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This article presents an analysis of the Polish-German scholarly and public debate of the last decades dedicated to the fate of the German population in Upper Silesia after the ending of the Second World War. In the introduction, three determining factors of the current discussion are mentioned: first, the public debate on this topic, which evolved especially after the turning point of the democratization in Poland in 1989, and which created a certain social climate for these scholarly debates; secondly, the history of the Polish-German conflict in Upper Silesia, which conditioned the post-war situation in the region; and thirdly, the main historiographical paradigms to the subject before 1989 in both countries, whose fixation and whose deficits weighed heavily upon the research direction chosen in this period.

From among these three aspects—the camps built for the German population, their resettlement, and the politics of nationality towards former German citizens, who were then recognized as owners of Polish nationality and who could remain in their homes—the article concentrates on the first one. The last few years saw the most fundamental revision concerning the camps for the German population, and our knowledge is here relatively complete. It is worth underlining that most advances here have been achieved by Polish historians from various disciplinary directions.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

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