MUTUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN INHABITANTS OF ZGORZELEC, POLAND AND GÖRLITZ, GERMANY IN LIGHT OF POLISH-GERMAN RELATIONS (Relacje miedzy mieszkancami Zgorzelca i Görlitz w aspekcie stosunków polsko-niemieckich)
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In 1945, the Potsdam conference decided about the redrawing of the Polish-German border. Thus the town of Görlitz was divided: its southern portion became part of Poland and was later named Zgorzelec. Between 1945 and 1990, the inhabitants of Görlitz and Zgorzelec had little contact. But as the Iron Curtain collapsed, the two towns' self-governing bodies have undertaken many joint initiatives in order to establish Polish-German cooperation. Although they get along well, the process of integration between the German and Polish parts of the town is difficult, full of resentiments and historical burdens. The inhabitants of the twin city on opposite banks of the river have felt separated not only by a foreign language but, more significantly, also by history, culture, habits and customs. Their integration, which is slowly continuing, offers a researcher an interesting insight. In 2008, the author conducted empirical investigation to find an answer to the following question: How do mutual relations between the inhabitants of Zgorzelec and Görlitz look like? Among other issues, he investigated the influence of elimination of border controls on the integration of the inhabitants as well as the importance of unrestricted movement between the two towns on the two sides of the river and the level of contacts between both communities. The data obtained in the survey is representative of permanent adult inhabitants of the twin city Zgorzelec/Görlitz (over eighteen years of age), as per 300 surveys were administered to both Polish and German inhabitants.
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