Fantomowe dziedzictwo? Różnice w muzealnej prezentacji dziedzictwa niemieckiego Wschodu oraz polskich Kresów – próba diagnozy
Phantom heritage? Differences in museum exhibitions of the heritage of the German East and the Polish Eastern Borderlines: a diagnosis
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The article is dedicated to the cultural heritage of the eastern territories that were lost due to the redrawing of the borders to the west as a result of the Second World War. Such as the redrawing of the frontiers experienced by Poland, whose Eastern Borderlands (Kresy) comprised of almost half of Poland’s prewar territories and which were annexed by the USSR. On the other hand, Germany lost to Poland some territories that were historically known as Eastern Germany, e.g. Pomerania, Silesia, East and West Prussia. The author describes the legacy of the lost territories as a‘phantom heritage’ that can be compared to the phantom pain experienced after the loss of a body part due to amputation. Though both nations suffered the trauma of being expelled from a homeland, fundamental differences in both the presentation and representation of their cultural heritage can be noticed in the modern museum landscape. In the first part of the text the author focuses on the legal basis and museum initiatives connected with the ‘lost Eastern Germany’ on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1950s up to the present day . The museum exhibition in the Museum of West Prussia [Westpreussisches Landesmuseum] in Münster is examined in detail, this exhibit is seen by the author as an expression of a historical myth. In the second part of the article the author discusses some selected museum initiatives taken in Poland with reference to the presentation of the lost Eastern Borderlands. In the conclusion the author tries to address the question of why there is such a significant imbalance between the presentations of the subject matter in Poland and in Germany.
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