Starting in September and finishing in early November – with a short break – our PI, Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, was carrying out another round of her fieldwork in Central Pomerania. Late summer and early autumn were a perfect time for looking closely at various forms of cultural recycling, as the falling leaves and dying grass revealed abandoned villages, such as Doderlage / Dudylany, or allowed her to examine formerly German cemeteries in the vicinity, as well as recycled monuments.
Karolina did various forms of participant observation, a fundamental ethnographic method. She was able to take part in official commemoration celebrations in the military cemetery in Bukowina, stroll through the woods, looking for abandoned lonely farms, only briefly inhabited after the war, together with her interview partners, as well as expand her research into some new areas. Among them were Borne Sulinowo, formerly German Gross Born, and later a Soviet military base, and Złotów, formerly German Flatow, where a robust Polish minority used to live before the war.
She also collected materials, stored at the state archive in Piła, formerly German Schneidemühl. In our project, we follow both ethnographic and archival sources, treating them not in comparison, but in connection, as they reveal various points of view and modes of telling the stories of the German ghosts in post-displacement regions.