Walkowice — zachodnie rubieże Wielkopolski
Walkowice Village — the Western Frontiers of the Greater Poland Region
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The article takes up the subject of the memory of the relocation of displaced persons among two groups inhabiting the village of Walkowice — both the descendants from the displaced families and the native population. The village is situated in the Czarnków–Trzcianka County, in the River Noteć Valley, on the eastern bank of the river. Along this watercourse the Polish– German border ran; until 1945 the Poles coexisted with the Germans there. The latter escaped approaching Soviet troops and their abandoned farmyards were being occupied by the displaced people from Kresy Wschodnie (the Eastern Borderlands). These people constitute, and did so in the past as well, not a numerous, however a significant minority. In the beginning of her article, the authoress assumes that even if the “natives” outnumber the displaced, the latter were and still are more visible. It has turned out, however, that namely due to their number, the newcomers have melted into the population and their origins have lost value for the inhabitants of Walkowice. The issue of relocation is not an easy one in Walkowice. Both the displace people and “local” residents are not willing to discuss it. On the basis of talks the authoress conducted in the vicinity, she got an impression that people strive for an image of their village as a homogenous, friendly and peaceful place. Years of co-existence have evened out noticing differences, which are now perceived only by the oldest living generation in snatches of memories. Accounts of the “native” people as to their reception of and their attitude toward the displaced persons are definitely positive. On the contrary, the relocated do their best to convince verbally that the then petty conflicts have sunk into oblivion. Nevertheless, they are deposited somewhere in the subconscious. In Walkowice, four generations of displaced people can be distinguished today: the first one is a group of those who remember the places of origin of their family; the second generation was born “in their place of settlement” (ca. 1950); the third one consists of the offspring of the previous (born in the 1970s. and in the 1980s.), having their own children, who make up the fourth generation. Considerations presented in the article are reflections upon the state of the memory of the inhabitants of the village chosen by the authoress. They depict an attitude towards the displaced people in the past and today, knowledge about their fates, noticing differences and similarities.
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