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v2.1 Reference

Lviv – Wrocław, Cities in Parallel?

Myth, Memory and Migration, c. 1890-Present

Edited by Jan Fellerer and Robert Pyrah

After World War II, Europe witnessed the massive redrawing of national borders and the efforts to make the population fit those new borders. As a consequence of these forced changes, both Lviv and Wrocław went through cataclysmic changes in population and culture. Assertively Polish prewar Lwów became Soviet Lvov, and then, after 1991, it became assertively Ukrainian Lviv. Breslau, the third largest city in Germany before 1945, was in turn "recovered" by communist Poland as Wrocław. Practically the entire population of Breslau was replaced, and Lwów's demography too was dramatically restructured: many Polish inhabitants migrated to Wrocław and most Jews perished or went into exile. The forced migration of these groups incorporated new myths and the construction of official memory projects.

The chapters in this edited book compare the two cities by focusing on lived experiences and "bottom-up" historical processes. Their sources and methods are those of micro-history and include oral testimonies, memoirs, direct observation and questionnaires, examples of popular culture, and media pieces. The essays explore many manifestations of the two sides of the same coin—loss on the one hand, gain on the other—in two cities that, as a result of the political reality of the time, are complementary.

About the Authors

Robert Pyrah is Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford


"Der vorliegende Band hinterfragt die übliche Parallelisierung beider Stadtgeschichten anhand dreizehn spannender mikrohistorisch argumentierender Beiträge. Ausgehend von dem Umstand, dass in beiden Städten aufgrund der tiefgreifenden demografischen Umwälzungen und Migrationserfahrungen erheblicher Bedarf an neuen lokalen Identitätsangeboten bestand, spüren die Beiträge dem Wandel von Erinnerungskulturen beider Städte aus einer bottom-up-Perspektive nach. Der Sammelband führt aktuelle Forschungen zur Geschichte beider Städte zusammen, die bereits seit den 1990er-Jahren durch die weitestgehende Zugänglichkeit der Archive einen Aufschwung erlebt haben. Für diesen Boom" in der Forschung bildete gerade die multiethnische Prägung der ostmitteleuropäischen Städte einen wichtigen Bezugspunkt, so auch im Falle L'vivs und (in geringerem Maße) Wrocławs. In konzeptueller Hinsicht knüpft der Band an einen gegenwärtigen, produktiven Trend in der historischen Forschung an, der die Mikrogeschichte ins Verhältnis zur Meso- und Makrogeschichte setzt. Auf diese Weise können Befunde der historischen Vogelperspektive" verifiziert, korrigiert oder ergänzt werden."—Heidi Hein-Kircher, H-Net Reviews"The focus of the volume on the processes of memory in the localities of L'viv and Wrocław is an effective way to draw attention to the experience of large-scale historical processes at the local level, drawing on a repertoire of sources that would not otherwise be tapped. It will be of interest to students of a wide range of topics, including history, memory, urbanism, and mass population displacement in East-Central Europe and beyond."https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/128/1/434/7098120—Violeta Davoliute, The American Historical Review


"The myth and memory of a deeply connected and similar history of Wrocław and L'viv is certainly alive. The comparative volume tracks down the roots of this myth, the connections between the two cities through forced migration, and it shows the profound differences between them. The readers will better understand how Wrocław and L'viv have survived the devastations of the twentieth century and become buzzling cultural centers of Poland and Ukraine."—Philipp Ther
Central European University Press

9789633863237 : lviv-wroc-aw-cities-in-parallel-fellerer-pyrah
364 Pages
$100.00 USD

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