TOŻSAMOŚĆ LUDZI W ZMIENIAJĄCEJ SIĘ PAŃSTWOWOŚCI – STUDIUM PRZYPADKU
The identity of the people in the changing state − case study
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This article is a comparative analysis of biographies of the two women. One of them lives in Elk, Poland and the other in Swiecionys, Lithuania. Both of them live in the areas where came from their ancestors, from generation to generation. Both of them were born in the 20’s of the 20th century in the villages situated nearby the towns they are currently living, however their homes used to be in different countries than nowadays. Before the World War 2, both Vilnius Region and Eastern Prussia were multicultural, multilingual and multi-denominational with one major religion, to which followers belonged both characters of the analysed biographies. Local customs of different provenance were characteristic for the whole village, irrespectively of its inhabitants’ identities. The end of World War 2 and the change of the borders became a traumatic experience for young at that time girls. They were forced to make difficult decisions, to choose their state and their nationality, to decide about their personal life and about separation from their close family. The both women were not involved in the war, neither military nor politically. However, they both were afflicted by political decisions made by the victors of the war, which were the consequences of the actions of those who started that war. The sense of identity of ordinary people living in multicultural areas, which are changing their statehood in different historical periods, is very complex and difficult. The aim of this article is to show the factors which can influence on national and cultural identity of ordinary people living in areas, where the statehood has changed.
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