Polsko-niemiecki projekt „Pruzzenland. Regionalne konstrukcje tożsamości w podręcznikach szkolnych Niemiec, Polski, Litwy i Rosji”
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Polish-German project “Pruzzeland. Regional identity constructions in school coursebooks in Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Russia”
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The article deals with an international research project concerning the image of the Prussian lands over the centuries as presented in school course books in four countries – Poland, Germany, Russia and Lithuania. The first part includes the research on the condition of regional historical consciousness Warmia (Ermeland) and Masuria (Eastern Prussia) done by both Polish and German researchers. As a result, it became obvious that school course books designed for regional education, which would educate about the Prussian lands and shape a sense of community of many cultures, should be prepared. Thanks to scientific cooperation between the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the German Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, it was possible to apply together for financial resources to carry out common research projects. The project was joined by: historians from the University of Warmia and Mazury, the Institute of History and International Relations in Olsztyn, and the sta. of Georg-Eckert Institute in Braunschweig. The aim of the project is a systematic and multifaceted comparison of the regional construction of identity in school course books in relation to the area of “Pruzzenland”. The common historical approach to the past of the four nations: Germany, Poland, Russia and Lithuania has not been studied yet. The analysis of course books takes place in five central themes and selected concrete time points: 1) “the Prussians”, 2) “National myths”, 3) “The experience of migration”, 4) “Personages”, 5)” The scenery”. The themes are discussed within the scope of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century: 1) the inter-war period, 2) After WWII (1945–1989), 3) After the collapse of communism 1989/91, 4) The present time (until 2009). A permanent result of the project will be the study of the analysis of course books in the form of a scientific monograph. Secondly, selected teaching materials such as maps, diagrams, illustrations, source texts concerning the Prussian lands and selected subjects will be published. The product will be presented on-line, making it available for use to Germany, Poland, Russia and Lithuania. Finally, an international conference will be organized, where a monographic study in German and Polish will be presented. The internet product will be demonstrated there as well. The so-called ‘soft’ effect of the project, which will be hard to measure, will be the introduction of a supranational, transborder approach to the complicated history of these regions in Europe, where the political situation frequently changed, and people fail to have a stable historical identity. The project will allow inhabitants of the regions, teachers, students, and local authorities to foster communication within the nations and ethnic groups, and to develop an effective transregional cooperation.
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