The theme of the first issue of the journal “Academia” (Polish Academy of Sciences) in 2023 is groundbraking scientific discoveries and their application for the benefit of humanity. Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska had the opportunity to talk about ERC StG and say in which way this project is innovative and special.
Speaking of cemeteries and hidden monuments, in Nová Lehota (originally a separate village, nowadays a district of Handlová) there is one too! When in 2015 a group of local activists renovated a historical „mortuary“ from the 19th century, inside they added memorial plaques with the names of all 1.450 Germans forcibly resettled from Nová Lehota after WWII.
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, claims they do! She addressed that matter on December 7, 2022, invited by Professor Justyna Olko, chief director of the Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” (University of Warsaw). At the seminar “Decolonizing approaches to studying linguistic-cultural heritage”, Karolina asked “how to decolonize ghosts?” and explained what layers of formerly German landscapes in Poland, Czechia and Slovakia can be investigated using hauntology.
The Institute of Contemporary History in Prague (Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR, v.v.i., Akademie věd České republiky) has organized a meeting (30.11.) where David Kovařík had the presentation “Perished Settlements in Moravia and Silesia: A Contribution to the Transformation of the Cultural and Settlement Landscape in the years 1945-1989” (in Czech language). Karina Hoření was one of two discussants of the presented lecture.
“Things that were left after previous settlers are like ghosts. You can’t simply get rid of them, they remind you of the culture of antecedents, you try to enter into dialogue with them, learn how to live with them as well as how to exorcise them.”
Bones and cake platters. How did people cope with post-German ghosts of the “Recovered Territories”?
On November 21, 2022, Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, during an event organized by the Science Festival in Warsaw, the Polish Academy of Sciences and Wszechnica, gave a lecture in the Hall of Mirrors of the Staszic Palace in Warsaw.
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, as a stipendist of Gifted Programme created by Krajowy Fundusz na rzecz Dzieci (Polish Children’s Fund), gave a lecture connected to her research for next generation of scholarship holders.
One of the regions where Karina Hoření is conducting her research is Jablonec (formerly Gablonz) in north Bohemia. At the beginning of the 20th century, Jablonec grow into the biggest producer of glass and glass beads, and these goods were exported into the whole world. Industrial past of the city can still be seen in exotic motives of fin-de-siècle buildings (see photo by Karina).
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska explains her research plans: What I am trying to unravel is how the material elements left by the Germans influence the new settlers and resulted in the creation of a new culture of these regions.
Interested in finding out more?
Where would you look for German Ghosts? Would a cemetery be a too obvious answer?
That actually is one of the places where Michal Korhel continues his fieldwork in Handlová. One of the secrets of this cemetery is a „hidden“ Monument to the fallen Soldiers of WWI. Originally it was situated in the city center. After WWII it was destroyed. First in the 1960s its remnants were put together and placed on the backside of a newly established Memorial to the Fallen of WWII.