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2019 | 12, Historia publiczna | 191-226

Article title

Kontrowersje wokół Józefa Kurasia „Ognia” i jego podkomendnych. Narracje historyków oraz mieszkańców Podhala

Title variants

Controversy around Józef Kuraś “Ogień” and his subordinates. Narratives of historians and the inhabitants of Podhale

Languages of publication



The myth of Józef Kuraś “Ogień” (“The Fire”) and his subordinates has become one of the main elements of Lesser Poland’s identity. The dominant image of those partisans is being created by historians from the Institute of National Remembrance (Polish: IPN) and that is why the article analyzes their statements. The goal is to reflect on the poetics of hegemonic narrative and the means that validate it. The article is inspired, inter alia, by semiology, meta-history and critical discourse analysis studies. The historians’ narratives are juxtaposed with the voices of witnesses of history from the southern part of Lesser Poland, that were collected through qualitative research. Following the grounded theory principles, the aim was to recognize the issues that are most important to the interlocutors and to highlight the key terms. The highlanders’ stories also became a guide while interpreting materials from the IPN’s archives. Testimonies from the fieldwork along with little-known documents make up an alternative narrative about Lesser Poland's past. What plays an important role within it are relations of the units with civilians, confiscations of private property and the acts of violence done by some partisans. The conducted analysis allows concluding what values are crucial for the historians and the highlanders as well. The differences between them are revealed. As a result, it is easier to understand the course and causes of the memory conflict that is taking place in the region.




Physical description


  • Uniwersytet Jagielloński


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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