NamePolak-Springer, Peter (author), Davis, Belinda (chair), Hanebrink, Paul (co-chair), Hellbeck, Jochen (internal member), Glassheim, Eagle (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Silesia, Lower (Poland and Germany),
Silesia, Upper (Poland and Czech Republic)--History
DescriptionThe present dissertation examines the development of a Polish-German transnational political culture of contesting and nationally appropriating a common territory over a three-decade time span. It is based on the case-study of the Upper Silesian Industrial District, an area that underwent three border re-drawings between 1922 and 1950. First, it focuses on how the bilateral national “cold war” over this borderland during the interwar era spurred the cultivation of revanchist discourses, acculturation programs, symbolic landscapes, and particular groups of Polish and German elites devoted to agitating for the territory. Second, it explores how these factors served as the supporting and legitimating basis of war- and postwar-era violence and ethnic cleansing that occurred in this borderland, as well as the totalitarian-minded regimes that promoted it. Third, it examines the transnationally interactive character of rivaling Polish and German revanchist cultural politics, the bilateral contestation of nationalization efforts, and the influence each rivaling side had on the other. Finally, it also examines the contestation of state efforts to construct national landscapes and minds at the local level and the impact that this contest had on the ultimate fate of nationalization efforts. Drawing heavily on archival records and multimedia published primary sources, this dissertation focuses on a broad range of acculturation efforts as well as a number of agents and governments coordinating them. It examines the revanchist politics of Polish and German centrist governments, the Sanacja, German National Socialist, and Polish Communist regimes, as well as how these governments mobilized a constant set of Polish and German border activist groups to do their bidding. The prime concern here is on an analysis of a multifarious range of cultural-political policies and acculturation projects, including the use of architecture and landscape development for nationalization politics, the manipulation of folk culture (music, costume, religious practices and festivals), the coordination of adult education programs, and the promotion of culturally racist discourses of the “other.” The transnational contestation of these and other nationalization policies, their reception at the local level, and how they served as counterparts to ethnic cleansing-oriented population politics, are likewise a strong concern of the investigation here.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Peter Polak-Springer
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.