The Germans of upper silesia: The struggle for recognition

Tomasz Kamusella, Terry Sullivan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 1995 on the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War numerous celebrations were held in Poland to mark the incorporation of the former Deutsche Ostgebiete (eastern territories of Germany). Few of these celebrations consciously alluded to the fact that the incorporation of the Deutsche Ostgebiete into post-war Poland had been an unusual compensation for the eastern lands Poland had lost to the Soviet Union in line with the secret Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939. Having secured the Deutsche Ostgebiete for Poland through a policy of faits accomplis, Stalin acquired leverage over Warsaw. It was realised that the existence of post-war Poland could be guaranteed only by the Soviet Union because of the virtual impossibility of any rapprochement of the Poles with the Germans. The incorporation of the relatively highly developed Deutsche Ostgebiete facilitated the transformation of post-war Poland from an agricultural to agricultural-industrial country. Thus, the ‘recovered territories’ (christened so by the Polish communist-cum-nationalist propaganda) allowed the communists to attempt to consolidate Polish society around the unpopular goal of ‘building socialism’ under Soviet supervision, as well as legitimise their seizure of power.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnicity and Democratisation in the New Europe
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
EditionEbook edition
ISBN (Electronic)9781134690244, 9780203005033
ISBN (Print)9780415173117
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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