The branch of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) in Wrocław, the “Remembrance and Future” Centre and the Faculty of Historical and Pedagogical Sciences of the University of Wrocław are pleased to invite you to participate in an interdisciplinary conference: Conflict – stabilisation – assimilation? The consequences of migration in the lives of inhabitants of Lower Silesia post 1945. A comparative approach. The conference will take place on 28–29 September 2021 at the Depot History Centre in Wrocław.
The end of World War II coincided with the fateful decisions of the victorious powers, whose aim was to establish a new order on the European continent. As a result of territorial changes, the post-war face of Europe was shaped, inter alia, by population movements; including forced resettlements and deportations. At the same time, there were mass migrations of prisoners of war, forced labourers, concentration camp prisoners and other groups that in 1945 found themselves dislocated from their previous places of residence. It is estimated that around 20 million people were on the roads of Europe at that time. As a result of the redrawing of Germany’s borders, Lower Silesia also changed its national allegiance, finding itself within the new borders of Poland. The expulsion of a significant part of the German citizenry and the simultaneous appearance of Poles and representatives of other nationalities abruptly changed the ethnic structure of this region.
The aim of the conference will be to consider the processes occurring as a consequence of the migration; above all, the complex mosaic of social and ethnic inter-relations as well as relations between the citizenry and the emerging / departing authorities. Central will be an in-depth discussion of various aspects of this phenomenon in a broader perspective, while not forgetting the individual experience, which will allow for a comprehensive assessment and comparison of these events, as well as showing the long-term effects that are still felt to this day. We will not limit ourselves only to those phenomena taking place in Lower Silesia; rather, we are treating this area as pars pro toto or a point of reference for comparative research.
We propose that the following issues be raised during the meeting:
1. Relations between different social groups (settlers, displaced people, ethnic and national conflicts)
2. (Re)building identity (issues of belonging, community building, alienation, exclusion)
3. Assimilation processes (adaptation, stabilisation, acculturation, social integration, the sense of transience)
4. Internal migrations, emigration, re-emigration (moving to larger or smaller centres, political and economic aspects, differences between the countryside and city)
5. Long-term effects of migration (post-migrational society, multiculturalism, tangible and intangible heritage, economic potential, “growing into a new landscape”, (de)mythologisation)
6. Remembrance of migration (memories, mythologisation of pioneers, shaping permanent frameworks of remembrance, transmission and reception of memory)
7. Summation of post-war migrations in Lower Silesia (state of research, different time perspectives, political, economic and social aspects, historical policy, language and communication).
We would like the above issues to form the main avenues of discussion and to serve as an inspiration. We would also welcome submissions from researchers from a range of academic fields (history, cultural and religious studies, sociology, psychology, linguistics etc) undertaking an innovative approach to the above issues. Above all, it is important to us to pose new research questions and confront the current state of knowledge with new findings.
The organisers have decided to eschew the traditional format of presentations in favour of a formula which will allow for the full exploitation of the meeting’s research potential. The conference will be based on papers and co-reports prepared at least a month earlier as well as broad-ranging discussion. Further details will be made available once the speakers have been selected.
Please submit your application form (in Polish or English) by 15 November 2020 to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organisers will provide accommodation, meals and conference materials. Moreover, it is envisaged that authors of articles accepted for publication in the form of a peer-reviewed monograph will receive remuneration.
Prof. Robert Klementowski (IPN Wrocław, University of Wrocław)
Prof. Jarosław Syrnyk (University of Wrocław)
Dr Wojciech Kucharski (“Remembrance and Future” Centre)
Magdalena Gibiec (IPN, University of Wrocław)
Agnieszka Klarman (IPN Wrocław)
Marek Szajda (“Remembrance and Future” Centre)