Fatal violence in Upper Silesia 1918-1922

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Abstract

Upper Silesia was the site of probably the largest exercise in democratic self-determination in history: the 1921 plebiscite to determine whether the local inhabitants wished to be Germans or Poles. This was such a turbulent process that it essentially discredited the plebiscite as a tool for deciding the fate of such disputed borderlands. But no one has ever tried to quantify the actual severity of violence in the region. This piece trawled through newspapers, police reports and propaganda materials in German, Polish, English and French for every day of the period from November 1918 to June 1922 to determine an order of magnitude for the scale of the bloodshed: a little under 4,000 lives lost.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreating Nationality in Central Europe, 1880-1950
Subtitle of host publicationModernity, Violence and (Be) Longing in Upper Silesia
EditorsJames Bjork, Tomasz Kamusella, Tim Wilson, Anna Novikov
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter2
Pages20-40
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781315641324
ISBN (Print)9780415835961, 9781138567597
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRoutledge studies in the history of Russia and Eastern Europe
Number25

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