DIFFICULT NEIGHBORHOODS: WRESTLING WITH THE HISTORY OF POLISH – GERMAN AND POLISH – RUSSIAN RELATIONS
Marta Penczek-Zapała , Paweł Boski
AbstractThis paper reports three studies on Polish - German and Polish - Russian relations in the context of their difficult history (World War 2 and communist oppression), as well as process of reconciliation between the nations. The paper addressed questions and hypotheses on mechanisms responsible for constructive coping with the past, through apologies by the perpetrators and forgiveness on the side of their former victims. Bilateral relations with Poland’s’ neighbors had opposite trajectories after World War 2. In case of Germans, initial hostility was slowly transformed into friendship and cooperation in European Union and NATO . At the same time, reparations to victims of the Nazi were paid by Germany. Based on earlier literature it has been hypothesized that their apology, if seen as genuine, will facilitate forgiveness and dissociate intergroup forgiveness from perception of ingroup harm. The opposite trajectory characterizes Polish - Russian bilateral relations, where communist rule and oppression were depicted as friendship. We hypothesized that such situation would lead to cynicism and thus hinder forgiveness and empathy. Research findings (Study 1) reflect these developments: Germans are seen as more remorseful and are more forgiven than Russians. In order to inspect the relationship between remorse and forgiveness, a study that followed an experimental design was conducted. Its results suggest that the effect of apologies and their sincerity was found in study 2 as facilitating factors to forgiveness felt by Poles’ also, the impact of the magnitude of harm was buffered by these conciliatory moves by German leaders. Study 3 concerned a situation of insincere reconciliation in Polish-Russian relations. Results show that such situation leads to cynicism and inhibits forgiveness, as well as compassion toward victims from the other nation.
|Journal series||Ceskoslovenska Psychologie, ISSN 0009-062X, (A 15 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||intergroup forgiveness, cynicism, intergroup reconciliation, apology, World War 2|
|Publication indicators||: 2015 = 0.293; : 2015 = 0.236 (2) - 2015=0.207 (5)|
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