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Współczesne pomniki i miejsca pamięci w polskiej i niemieckiej kulturze politycznej


  • Marcin Zaborski


When Polish and German remembrance maps are compared against each other, one notices many similarities between them. In the area of memorisation, they are dominated by the symbols of negative past – places of mourning, which remind of the suffering experienced or caused in the past. On both sides of the border running along the Rivers Oder and Nysa, memory of war experiences is particularly important – although, due to obvious reasons, the accents are distributed differently. In Poland, the dominant element is remembrance of the nation’s martyrdom; yet, recollection of that fragment of history in which the Poles were not the victims but perpetrators of crimes caused years ago also becomes visible, yet not accepted by all. On the other hand, in the case of Germany, significant framework in the area of dealing with the past is determined by awareness of the responsibility for breaking out the war hecatomb and its effects. Here, however, there also exists a certain exception, namely commemoration of the suffering experienced by the Germans, mainly because of forced resettlements. One also needs to emphasise that it is not only the collective Polish and German memory that exists in both countries. The social memory of the Jewish nation, focused mainly on former camp sites, but also on synagogue ruins, cemeteries, other memorial sites or around monuments, is also clearly present there. The common point in the Polish and German perspective seems, moreover, the conviction of the need to provide education on the effects of totalitarian regimes. The space for accomplishment of this responsibility is provided by memorial sites. Another component which fits into the experiences – both German and Polish – is the need to relate in the political and social areas to the communist era. One of the dilemmas which arise here is determination of the fate of any artefacts (e.g. monuments) which remind about the former regime. Finally, one cannot ignore one more phenomenon typical of the Polish and German memory space. In recent years, particularly evident is the focus on individual victims and biographies of individual persons. This change of the paradigm and new quality in historical narration – also in the area of commemoration – must bear certain consequences, such as allowing the emotions caused by this kind of remembrance to speak.

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Abstract in Polish

Autor śledzi procesy związane z tworzeniem i utrzymywaniem (względnie usuwaniem) pomników i miejsc pamięci. Sprawdza - jak funkcjonują one w kulturze politycznej w Polsce i w Niemczech oraz jakie są tu podobieństwa i jakie różnice, a także gdzie mają swe źródło. Prezentuje również autorską propozycję typologii obiektów służących upamiętnianiu. Co ważne - książka nie jest katalogiem pomników i miejsc pamięci. Autor postawił sobie za cel nie tyle ich opisanie, co ukazanie złożoności ich fenomenu. Zaprezentował więc funkcjonowanie tych obiektów w wymiarze historycznym, społecznym, politycznym, prawnym, psychologicznym i religijnym. Posługując się konkretnymi przykładami wskazał, w jaki sposób stają się przestrzenią debaty publicznej, spoiwem świadomości społecznej, miejscem świętowania czy prowadzenia pedagogiki pamięci, a także narzędziem prowadzenia polityki, zarówno w wymiarze wewnętrznym, jak i międzynarodowym.

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(pl) Polish
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