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EN
The paper is devoted in fact to two unilateral acts. The first of them is the statement of chancellor Schröder made in Warsaw on 1 August, 2004. The second is the statement of the Polish government on the waiver of payments of German reparations made on 23 August, 1953. The first statement is generally believed to be an act of legal importance. The element that attaches the utmost importance is the promise of the German government to present before international courts the critical evaluation of individual claims of former owners of land on the territories that came under the Polish sovereignty after the Second World War. The elements of that evaluation embrace the conclusions according to which: 'there could be no room for the restitution claims from Germany', such claims would 'put the history upside down', 'proprietary problems connected with the Second World War are no longer a subject for the two governments' and 'neither the federal government nor any serious political force in Germany support such claims if they are nevertheless put'. There could be no room for doubt as to the legal force of that statement. Its descriptive style or inclusion of elements upon which the government has only limited or no influence at all (the behavior of political parties or individuals) cannot change the binding force of statements relating to the German state as such. In fact the statement is not only a promise. I contains also the elements of waiver and recognition (as to the fact that there is no longer a subject of claims and that they would put the history upside down). The waiver results from the same sentences. It is limited to claims made on the state level only. The individual ones are not cancelled as such. If they are however made and not satisfied there is no longer a possibility to put them on the level of states. The second act made in 1953 is also quite general. Although from the historical perspective there could be no doubt regarding the interrelationship between that act and the USSR-GDR agreement, the statement of the Polish government did not refer to the latter expressly. The author analyses critically the arguments aimed at the justification of the nullity of the act presented in the previous literature. In his opinion it would be very difficult (if possible at all) to put into question the legal force of the act. The author however is not prepared to accept the erection of the Chinese wall between the waiver and other international acts giving rise to the obligations of the author. In that context he refers to the 'rebus sic stantibus' argument according to which the presentation of claims on the side of Germany could justify the new evaluation of the results of the war for the Polish state and nation. That solution would not be happy for any party nor for the stability of law, but it could be perceived as an extreme solution for the most extreme course of events.
EN
The detente in relations with Germany which started in 1934 was a great achievement of Poland's foreign policy. In a situation when Paris and London adopted a conciliatory attitude toward Berlin, concern for a favorable atmosphere in Warsaw-Berlin relations appeared to be from the Polish perspective a raison d'état. Also a temporary cooperation with the Reich (e.g. when both countries opposed the Eastern Pact project) could be in the interest of Poland. However, during the Sudeten crisis of 1938 this cooperation took a dangerous turn for Poland and there was a threat of her being isolated by Western powers, a risk that had been overlooked by the Polish authorities. At the time of friendlier relations with Poland, Germany formulated offers of a closer cooperation and alliance aimed against the Soviet Union. Those propositions included also a weakening of Poland's alliance with France and were accompanied by demands for consent to incorporate Gdansk into Germany and to create an exterritorial road connection across Polish Pomerania. At this point there could be no doubt that the German offer would lead to a degradation of Poland to the status of a satellite state. In this situation, Poland's refusal and efforts to improve the strained ties with Western powers (which resulted in the establishment of an alliance with Britain and a revitalization of that with France) had all the characteristics of a rational decision.
3
Content available remote SOVIET PRESS ON POLISH-GERMAN RELATIONS DURING THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
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EN
In the interwar period, Polish-German relations were consistently bad, except for a few years when mutual antagonisms were abated after the signing of the non-aggression pact of 1934. The Soviet press presented this objective state of matters in a manner unique for itself. The coverage did not bring any analysis of the situation on the Warsaw-Berlin line, but was an implementation of the political plan drawn up at the Kremlin. For the purpose of presenting the relations between the Republic of Poland and the Weimar Republic a thesis was generally accepted in the Soviet Union that those relations were strained on account of Warsaw's policy: the ongoing territorial dispute caused by inclusion of Germany's eastern territories into the Polish state and repression of the German minority. The authors of the Moscow propaganda claimed the situation to be analogous to what they termed as the Polish occupation of Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, and oppression of the Belarussian and Ukrainian minorities by Poles. Playing the Polish card enabled Moscow to maintain close relations with Germany until Hitler's rise to power. The activity of the German diplomacy, hostile towards Warsaw, as exemplified by the case of the revision of state borders, met with full understanding of the Soviet press during the period of the Weimar Republic.
EN
The author forwards the thesis that after two years of administration of the PiS-LPR-Samoobrona coalition in Poland (2005-2007), characterized by an escalation of tension in relations with Germany, the PO-PSL coalition government of Donald Tusk opts for restoration of trust in contacts with Berlin. Prof. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, who enjoys considerable authority in the FRG has been appointed the Prime Minister's plenipotentiary for international relations. He managed to work out a compromise on the issue of establishing a 'visible sign' in Berlin and withdrawal of Erika Steinbach from the implementation of this project. The European Union is now the main ground of Polish-German relations and their 'Europeization' exerts growing influence on bilateral relations, as evidenced by Germany's support of Jerzy Buzek's election for President of the European Parliament. The author claims that Poland should approach cooperation with Germany, especially within the European Union, rationally, not being guided by short-term benefits or resentments but with assertiveness and consistently respecting its own interests as well as those of its partner. The present government conceives of the idea of Polish-German partnership in precisely those terms.
EN
(Polish title: Historia powstania Traktatu Dobrosasiedzkiego RP - RFN z 17 czerwca 1991 r. (ze wspomnien glównego negocjatora)). The democratic transformations in Europe at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s led to the downfall of communism, the break-up of the Soviet empire and the reunification of Germany. This new framework brought about a breakthrough in the relations between the new Poland which became a democratic and sovereign state and the Federal Republic of Germany. The Good Neighbors Treaty of June 17, 1991 provided a stable international legal and political basis of the policy of accord and reconciliation between Poles and Germans. The author presents the diplomatic history of the emergence of this historic treaty in the years 1989 - 1991 (its role in Polish-German relations is comparable to that of the German-French Élysée Treaty of 1963). The main cognitive value of the article lies in the fact that besides the latest results of archival research, the author also used his own reminiscences as a diplomat (twenty years ago he was the Acting Head of the Polish Delegation for negotiating the Good Neighbors Treaty with the Germans). Professor Jerzy Sulek's more extensive study on the genesis, course and results of negotiations on the Good Neighbors Treaty can be found in a collective work Przelom i wyzwanie (Breakthrough and Challenge edited by Witold Góralski), Warszawa 2011 (in print).
EN
The article presents the key issues discussed at a conference organized by the Deutsches Polen-Institut in Darmstadt and other institutions in February 2009. The meeting was devoted to the directions of German scientific studies on Poland. Hitherto achievements and shortcomings as well as plans for the future were presented. Current endeavors towards expanding the network of contacts and their institutional reinforcement were also indicated.
EN
The treaty on 'good neighbors and friendly cooperation' was a stepping stone on the road to normalization of Polish-German relations and its ratification was preceded by numerous efforts and actions on the part of enlightened politicians, Church hierarchs and representatives of the academia. For the NGOs, however, less prominent matters, especially the establishment of institutions which were meant to support Polish-German contacts, were of greater practical importance. The two major such institutions are the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and the Polish-German Youth Exchange. By supporting joint Polish-German projects in both countries they significantly influenced the development of Polish-German relations. In the first decade of their activity, due to large disproportion in the financial possibilities of the two partners, support of the Congresses of Polish-German and German-Polish Societies by the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation enabled the Polish side to participate on equal terms in events that could be described as an intermediate form between a social gathering, a meeting of citizens engaged in a common enterprise and workshops that created ample opportunity to cope with new challenges in Polish-German relations. The Poznan organization availed itself of all the received invitations and often even requested additional cards of participation. In the second decade, the congress meetings were abandoned, so the Foundation started to offer greater support to Polish-German projects created by NGOs, local governments, schools and cultural institutions. Implementation of the provisions of the treaty proved advantageous for the Polish-German Society in Poznan in terms of the support it obtained for its own projects organized alternately in Wielkopolska and the federal states of the FRG together with the German-Polish Societies, especially those from Lower Saxony. Such projects helped their participants to learn about the culture, traditions and prospects of development of the partner nation and triggered new Polish-German contacts on a personal and organizational level, which also contributed to the development of exchange between Polish and German schools. Through this area of activity, presented by the regional mass media, the Polish-German Society in Poznan positively influenced the Polish-German relations in the region.
EN
:In the article the author suggests a change of perspective in the analysis of the process of normalization of Polish-German relations after the Second World War: he presents the benefits of viewing those relations as a triangle with its own dynamics, based on the sociological concept of the 'triad' first formulated by Georg Simmel and later applied to political sciences with reference to international relations by Theodore Caplow, among others. Such a trilateral view allows for a more precise understanding of normalization as a change of norms in the difficult Polish-German relations. What is more, interrelations between the FRG-GDR relations and Poland's relations with both of the German states open the possibility to treat the normalization process as a single issue that can be subjected to periodization in order to bring out clearly various mutual dependencies.
9
Content available remote GERARD LABUDA (1916-2010) (Gerard Labuda (1916-2010))
60%
EN
The article is devoted to Prof. Gerard Labuda, an outstanding historian, who passed away in October 2010. He was an excellent expert on the history of the Slavs and Poland, as well as on Polish-German relations, a scholar who combined the enormous knowledge of a medievalist with interest in the present. The author refers to the impressive bibliography of Prof. Labuda's works published within the span of seventy years of his scientific activity, and distinguishes the following thematic blocks: studies on Slav antiquities and early medieval history of Western Slavdom, the origins and early history of the Polish state and the Church in Poland, Polish-German relations and the history of Germany, problems of European medieval history, and also the history of his native Kashubia. The author brings out the thread of reflection on methodology, historiography, study of source texts and general issues of the history of culture that runs through Prof. Labuda's publications. Attention is also drawn to Prof. Labuda's dedication to such areas of activity as teaching, editorship and organization and propagation of science.
EN
The article presents Polish-German relations following the treaty on good neighbors and friendly cooperation from the perspective of a growing importance of soft power tools used by both countries in their mutual relations. In the last twenty years, due to changes in the international milieu, Germany and Poland developed the traditional tools of cultural diplomacy and introduced new concepts of public diplomacy. The new tools employed by Germany involve foreign image policy which is a manifestation of the economization of this country's foreign policy. The significance of Poland as the target country of German cultural diplomacy is currently smaller than at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. In Poland, promotional activities connected with economic transformation have led to the formulation of the conception of public diplomacy, with Germany as one of the target countries. The article refers to the notion of soft power in the interpretation proposed by J. Nye.
EN
The authoress tries to analyse the picture of a German as emerging from biographical interviews with the oldest generation of the new inhabitants of an ex-German town (Krzyz, German Kreuz Ostb.), the first post-war settlers in the 'recovered territories'. The authoress shows how people coming from the Polish Eastern Borderland, Great Poland and Central Poland remember their pre-war German neighbours, the German invaders and the Germans expelled from Krzyz. The reason for the predominantly favourable picture of a German may be found in the experiences of the interviewees' lives, who during the war and in the post-war period suffered the greatest wrongs not on the part of the Germans, but the Soviets. It is also noteworthy that the repatriates from the Eastern Borderland perceive a similarity between the fate of the Poles and Germans expelled from their homes, though they do not deny the Germans' guilt and responsibility for starting World War II.
EN
One of the biggest battles of medieval Europe belongs to the leading events in the history of Poland, as it effectively curbed the aggression of the Teutonic Order on the Baltic seacoast. With sword and fire, under the banner of the cross, the Order had established its own state on those lands threatening the Piast Poland. For centuries the Germans perceived this defeat as an end of their 'civilizational mission' and only towards the end of the 20th century they re-evaluated their judgment, their position approaching that of Polish historiography. The defeat of 1410 was compensated for in propagandist terms with a 'second Tannenberg', i.e. a defeat of the Russians on the same site during the First World War. In pre-partition Poland (until 1795) and especially during the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the anniversaries of the victory were celebrated as church and state holidays. In times of national captivity they served the idea of national survival and could be freely celebrated only from the third quarter of the 19th century in the part annexed by Austria, after Galicia had gained autonomy. The 500th anniversary was celebrated on a grand scale in Kraków with the participation - partly in conspiracy - of delegations from the Prussian and Russian partitions. Jubilee celebrations were held on the 550th anniversary (1960) and the 600th anniversary (2010) when the battlefield was within the territory of the Polish state. The character of the celebrations changed as they no longer needed to serve the idea of 'cheering up the hearts'. Recently the anniversaries lost their confrontational edge in shaping the image of Polish-German relations.
PL
Zmienna przynależność państwowa Górnego Śląska i niepewność z tym związana odcisnęła swe piętno na życiu rodzinnym, tożsamości etnicznej i przywiązaniu do ojczyzny prywatnej – Górnego Śląska. Celem artykułu jest przedstawienie problemu tożsamości i zakorzenienia Górnoślązaków, którzy wyemigrowali do Niemiec Zachodnich między 1970 a 2000 rokiem jako „wysiedleńcy” i „późni wysiedleńcy”, a więc jako etniczni Niemcy lub byli obywatele niemieccy. Tekst oparty jest na przeprowadzanych przeze mnie badaniach na grupie przesiedleńców z Górnego Śląska do Niemiec. Artykuł przedstawia także tło i kontekst historyczny migracji z Górnego Śląska do Republiki Federalnej Niemiec. Powody wyjazdów były różne, a i dziś tożsamość emigrantów z Górnego Śląska jest złożona. Aspekty zakorzenienia, takie jak język, kultura, pamięć i religia, także zostały zaprezentowane.
EN
The state membership of Upper Silesia has changed constantly throughout its history. This insecurity resulted in family life, ethnic identity and attachment to a private homeland – Upper Silesia. The aim of this paper is to discuss the problem of the identity and rootedness of the people who migrated from Upper Silesia to West Germany between 1970 and 2000 as “(Spät-)Aussiedler” – ethnic Germans or former German citizens. The paper is based on research that I carried out on migrants from Upper Silesia to the Federal Republic of Germany. The article attempts to present the background and historical context of the migration from Upper Silesia to the Federal Republic of Germany. There were a variety of reasons for migrating. Today, the identity of the migrants from Upper Silesia is also complex. The aspects of rootedness such as language, culture, ethnicity, memory and religion are examined in the article.
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