"Granica przyjazni". Olsztyn-Kaliningrad 1956-1989
The Boundaries of Friendship, Olsztyn - Kaliningrad 1956-1989"
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Between 1956 and 1989, the Polish city of Olsztyn had a special bond with the capital city of the Kaliningrad Oblast. The authorities of this trans-border region established direct cooperation without the involvement of their central governments. The fate, form and significance of this cooperation effort were largely decided by regional branches of Polish and Soviet political parties. Initially, local cooperation consisted mostly of official visits by the representatives of both parties who attended national holidays and anniversary celebrations. Several years later, cooperation was extended to state and regional institutions, industrial plants, schools, universities and community associations. The exchange campaign was expanded to include smaller towns. Several towns in the Olsztyn voivodeship established partnerships with towns in the Kalinigrad Olbast. The exchange scheme included official visits as well as professional visits that were dedicated to specific issues and involved experts from various fields, including farmers, scientists, teachers and doctors. Very few areas of life were exempt from cooperation programs. Youth exchange schemes were particularly important. They involved regular meetings along the Polish-Soviet border held in the form of festivals and political events. Trade contacts were a separate aspect of the cooperation scheme. They were based on barter exchange and had no precedent in the history of both countries.
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