Accepted Paper:

War trauma memories and contemporary identities of Warmia-Masuria region (Poland)  
Michal Maleszka (Jagiellonian University)

Paper long abstract:

Warmia-Masuria is a historical and administrative region of north-eastern Poland. Before 1945 it belonged to Germany as a part of Eastern Prussia province. During the 1945-1946 the population of the area experienced a massive flight from advancing Soviet troops, harsh reality of military administration and forced displacements. Subsequently the region was repopulated by Polish immigrants by the state administration. In my paper I will bring up the topic of war trauma as a key biographical element in narrations of people from the "war generation" - especially different narrative strategies of dealing with this chapter of their biographies. I will refer to the data from my interviews with the people born in the region before 1945 and still remaining in their homeland. In conclusion I will discuss relations between "war generation", their personal identities and memory, and contemporary attempts to (re)construct local identity in specific conditions of ethnic, historical and political discontinuity.

Panel W067
Memory of crises and traumas: evocations, representations, reclamations in social communication, and cultural creativity