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DOI 10.12887/30-2017-2-118-14

Przemysław ROTENGRUBER – History, Memory and Dialogue: On the Obstacles that Stand between the Poles and the Ukrainians

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The purpose of the essay is to discuss the possibility of an agreement between Polish and Ukrainian Nations. There are two autonomous problems that should be taken into consideration. On the one hand, there is the history of both nations. The most representative symbols of mutual tensions between them are the Volhynian Massacres (1943-1945) and Operation Vistula (1947-1950). The 70th anniversary of the latter event is a good opportunity to compare its Polish and Ukrainian interpretations. Such a comparison leads to the conclusion that the main obstacle preventing mutual understanding is the cultural memories of, respectively, Polish and Ukrainian people. The historical facts do not speak for themselves. Rather, they get their importance from the community of interpretation. Such an interpretation is founded on the normative convictions of the community members (called the “social frameworks of memory” by Maurice Halbwachs). On the other hand, the problem of the Polish-Ukrainian relations will remain unsolved if the political partners do not accept the rules of dialogue. However, these rules—at least declaratively—are observed by everyone. Thus it means that the solution must embrace something else, that is to say, the identity of the partners of the dialogue, which, unfortunately, is built on their respective cultural memories, monologic in their structure. Therefore, the final question is: What is most important to them? As long as they are under the influence of sentiments, (self-)stereotypes and myths, there is no chance of reconciliation.

Keywords: Operation Vistula, history, cultural memory, dialogue, reconciliation

Kontakt: Zakład Etyki Gospodarczej, Instytut Kulturoznawstwa,
Wydział Nauk Społecznych, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza,
ul. Szamarzewskiego 89A,
60-568 Poznań, Poland

E-mail: proten@amu.edu.pl
Phone: +48 61 8292229

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» 118_Rotengruber.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887