Monograph

Anna Novikov (2015)

Shades of a Nation. The Dynamics of Belonging among the Silesian and Jewish Populations in Eastern Upper Silesia (1922–1934)

Publishing house fibre
Place of publication Osnabrück
Page references 232
Series Einzelveröffentlichungen des DHI Warschau

ISBN: ISBN 978-3-944870-39-7

This book both narrates and examines the story of the nationalization of a local population in an interwar Central European border area using a wide and comparative context that relies on the international political and diplomatic background of the time. It concentrates on a time period of thirteen years, from 1921 (the year of the plebiscite in Upper Silesia) to 1934 (when Poland and Germany signed the non-aggression pact). After the plebiscite, the area of Upper Silesia was divided between Germany and Poland, and the part which was shifted to Poland experienced an intensive process of nationalization or what will be called "Polonization". The study focuses on the city Kattowitz/Katowice, a politicized area of international importance and which after the shifting of the border became the capital of the new Polish Silesian Voivodeship. The book analyzes the dynamics of 'belonging' and 'affiliation' as experienced during this process by two non-national groups in the population: the Silesian and the Jewish in the Eastern Upper Silesian region, with the process placing these two "micro" histories within the "macro" history of interwar Central Europe. This work contributes to an understanding of the relationships between the minorities and the ruling majorities in the national discourse of the twentieth century and assists in tracing the interwar sources of the conflicts that appear yet today.

(From the publisher's website)

  • Shades of a Nation. The Dynamics of Belonging among the Silesian and Jewish Populations in Eastern Upper Silesia (1922–1934)

    Reviewed by M.A. Anna Muś