Rola Polski w antyfaszystowskiej polityce pamięci NRD (1949-1972)
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The Role of Poland in the Anti-Fascist Politics of Memory in the GDR (1949-1972)
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The object of the study is to show the activity of the Helmut von Gerlach Society for Cultural, Economic and Political Relations with the New Poland and the history of the building of the Memorial to Polish Soldiers and German Anti-Fascists in Berlin-Friedrichshain on the example of the reception of the drama “Niemcy” (“Germans”) by Leon Kruczkowski in the GDR. The focus is on the role of Poland in the anti-fascist politics of memory of the GDR in the years 1949-1972. The aim of this politics was to join the community of memory of the camp of winners of the Second World War. Poland, being the first victim of Germany’s aggression during the war which was started by Germany, played a special role in this process becoming an important element of the GDR’s legitimization strategy aimed against the FRG. Following a relatively short period of official atonement for the war crimes committed in Poland, the politics of memory of the GDR tended to underscore the two nations’ allegedly common fight against fascism. The overcoming of the asymmetries between the two countries in the still living memory of the Second World War was effected by a class interpretation of the criminal system thereby excluding individual guilt and responsibility. The reception of the politics of memory described in the study shows that it was used in completely different ways by each country for its own internal purposes. Whereas in the GDR the dominant narration was that of common fight, in the Polish People’s Republic emphasis was placed mainly on the Polish contribution to the defeat of Nazism.
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