DIE WELT DER SLAVEN

Descendants of Saturn
Identity formation in post-displacement areas based on the example of Poland’s “Recovered Territories”

Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska

Die Welt der Slaven 66 (2021) 1, 106–129

The subject matter of this article is identity formation of new inhabitants of post-displacement areas, which I analyse based on the example of Poland’s “Recovered Territories” after 1945 with the focus on its Pomeranian region. Inspired by Walter Benjamin’s remarks on the notion of history, the use of sources and cultural formation, I propose to consider the culture of the “Recovered Territories” as a culture of the remains of the Saturnine character, which results from the transference of guilt and responsibility outside of the realm of agency, and leads to the inability to intentionally build or maintain any whole. It is a culture that grows on differently understood vestiges, using detours and delays in its continuous movement, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. I argue that the identity of the new settlers was shaped by the remains of their culture(s) of origin, remains of the German cultures, as well as the propaganda of the “Recovered Territories” legitimising their incorporation into Poland.

Keywords: the “Recovered Territories;” displacement of Germans from Central Europe; Polish culture; Saturnine culture; post-displacement regions

Ćwiek-Rogalska, Karolina, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences; karolina.​rogalska​@ispan.waw.pl

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